The PlanetNICFI R package includes functions to download and process the NICFI (Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative) Planet Satellite Imagery utilizing the Planet Mosaics API. More details on the functionality of PlanetNICFI can be found in the blog-post, Vignette and in the package Documentation ( scroll down for information on how to use the docker image )


An important parameter to keep in mind is the page_size of the nicfi_quads_bbox() function. Depending on what the user defines as bbox_AOI or wkt_AOI the page_size parameter needs to be adjusted too. The bigger the Area of Interest is the bigger the page_size parameter must be. That means the nicfi_quads_bbox() function will return more Image products for a bigger area and the page_size parameter must be bigger than the default value of 50 so that all available Image products will be returned.

Another important information to keep in mind (if using the ‘aria2c’ software to download the data - see the ‘sequential_download_paths()’ function for an alternative) is that the user currently has to download the NICFI .tif files in a temporary directory due to the aria2c_download_paths() function. By specifying a different default_directory parameter other than a temporary directory in the aria2c_bulk_donwload() function the .tif files won’t be downloaded in the correct folder.

System Requirements:


The usage of the PlanetNICFI package requires a geospatial setup as specified in the sf or terra files.


Besides the ‘sequential_download_paths()’ function the aria2c software is another option to download the data in parallel. It has to be installed first in the Operating System:

On Ubuntu this can be done using:

sudo apt-get install aria2

On Macintosh use,

brew install aria2

and on Windows 10 based on a web-tutorial:

To install the package from CRAN use,


and to download the latest version of the package from Github,


Tropical Forests Satellite Data Coverage

Docker Image (if you want to avoid the installation of the System Requirements)

Docker images of the PlanetNICFI package are available to download from my dockerhub account. The images come with Rstudio and the R-development version (latest) installed. The whole process was tested on Ubuntu 18.04. To pull & run the image do the following,

docker pull mlampros/planetnicfi:rstudiodev

docker run -d --name rstudio_dev -e USER=rstudio -e PASSWORD=give_here_your_password --rm -p 8787:8787 mlampros/planetnicfi:rstudiodev

The user can also bind a home directory / folder to the image to use its files by specifying the -v command,

docker run -d --name rstudio_dev -e USER=rstudio -e PASSWORD=give_here_your_password --rm -p 8787:8787 -v /home/YOUR_DIR:/home/rstudio/YOUR_DIR mlampros/planetnicfi:rstudiodev

In the latter case you might have first give permission privileges for write access to YOUR_DIR directory (not necessarily) using,

chmod -R 777 /home/YOUR_DIR

The USER defaults to rstudio but you have to give your PASSWORD of preference (see for more information).

Open your web-browser and depending where the docker image was build / run give,

1st. Option on your personal computer, 

2nd. Option on a cloud instance,

http://Public DNS:8787

to access the Rstudio console in order to give your username and password.

NICFI Satellite Data Program user community code repositories


Please read the COPYRIGHTS file of the PlanetNICFI R package especially the section ‘OBLIGATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS’


If you use the PlanetNICFI R package in your paper or research please cite:

  title = {{PlanetNICFI}: Processing of the 'Planet NICFI' Satellite Imagery using R},
  author = {Lampros Mouselimis},
  year = {2023},
  note = {R package version 1.0.5 using Imagery 2021 Planet Labs Inc. All use subject to the Participant License Agreement},
  url = {},