TerrAvion adopted the Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG) format in 2019. COGs enable more efficient streaming of data, allowing TerrAvion to, among other things, provide imagery that gets processed on the fly. Prior to COGs, traditional GeoTiffs could also be stored in the cloud, but made delivering web map tiles to our customers and partners difficult. Below is some basic information on COGs and an explanation of how they benefit our customers and partners.
What are Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs?
The "TIFF" image standard is a flexible, adaptable file format for handling images. A GeoTIFF is a TIFF with additional geospatial information that allows a geographic information system to georeference the image. This allows TerrAvion and our partners to display imagery on a background map that makes it easier for the end-user to interpret.
The COG is a GeoTIFF hosted on a server, which enables more efficient workflows utilizing the cloud. It enables interactive retrieval of information and results in a reduction in data storage cost.
Advantages of COGs for TerrAvion partners and end-users
While we provide our core imagery products (Natural and Synthetic Color, Infrared, NDVI, Thermal, and Pansharpened Thermal) to customers through our apps, many other imagery products can be created with the multi-band imagery that we capture. Two examples of this are our new Synthetic Color and Pansharpend Thermal images. For the Synthetic Color we combine the red, green, and blue pixels with infrared pixels and for the Pansharpened Thermal product, Thermal pixels get combined with infrared pixels. TerrAvion’s use of COGs allows us to offer our partners unlimited indexes through our API. Our partners can also take COG image data and create their own indexes.
Research, such as this review from Michigan State, offers insight into various vegetative indices and their utility in precision agriculture. These formulas can be applied on a per-pixel basis to the imagery TerrAvion has captured and displayed as an entirely new map for users.
Advantages of COGs for TerrAvion
For imagery providers like TerrAvion, the COG format allows anyone to access just the portion of a raster file (a raster file is a bitmap or a grid of individual pixels that collectively compose an image) that they need. COGs enable more cloud-centric workflows, which allows our team to operate much more efficiently. If our processing team needs to adjust an image, they can call on and adjust only the parts of the file that they need to, instead of having to download and process the file from scratch every time.
COGs also help us keep our data costs down. Cloud-hosting providers like AWS charge fees for any data leaving their network. COGs allow our team to download just the portion of the data they need, instead of larger files, so less bandwidth is consumed and our costs stay as low as possible.
For more information on how to connect to TerrAvion and implement COGs, visit the Develop with TerrAvion pages. For more information on becoming an API partner with TerrAvion, please complete the form below.