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Custom Script Contest

The Sentinel Hub Custom Script Contest!

Remote sensing is making its way into more and more applications and fields. Tools like the Sentinel Hub EO Browser with its custom scripting allow all people to browse, analyse and visualise satellite data in almost real-time.

We at Sentinel Hub, together with our data partners, the Copernicus EU Earth Observation programme and the European Space Agency, are constantly looking for new and innovative ideas and scripts. Therefore, we have organized the first Sentinel Hub Custom Scripts Contest (March - May 2019) where participants shared useful custom scripts for the EO Browser. They were handing in up to three different scripts either as a single author or as a representative of a group. We are pleased to see many students among the participants and we hope that the contest becomes an interesting project either for high school or university science classes in the future.


All the scripts that were submitted to the Contest were added to the GitHub (see results below for direct links). We will also write some blog posts on this topic so follow us on Twitter and Medium!

Winning a trip to ESRIN in Rome!

The custom scripts for the Sentinel Hub EO Browser were classified in one of the categories below. All the entries were judged by a jury of experts on functionality and usefulness, as well as possible commercial usefulness. The authors of the best scripts won attractive prizes, and the author of the overall best script got an invitation to visit the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN), home of ESA’s centre for Earth Observation, to discuss his script with experts in the relevant fields.

Kilauea volcano lava flows highlighted. View script in EO Browser.


  1. Agriculture and Forestry
  2. Marine environment
  3. Snow and Glaciers
  4. Disaster management and prevention (wildfires, floods, hurricanes, …)
  5. Air quality and Urban planning
  6. Other scripts (all not fitting into one of the other categories)

Creating Scripts

Some help and instructions on how to get started with custom scripting for the EO Browser:

Better snow visualisation using NDSI. View script in EO Browser.

Attractive Prizes

For each of the categories:

  • First prize: 1.000 EUR + 1-year Enterprise Sentinel Hub account (worth 5.000 EUR) + some nice goodies
  • Second prize: 300 EUR + 1-year Individual commercial Sentinel Hub account (worth 1.000 EUR) + some nice goodies
  • Third prize: 1-year Individual commercial Sentinel Hub account (worth 1.000 EUR) + some nice goodies

Additionally, the best Sentinel-1 (SAR) script won 500 Euro and goodies, and the second and third best also got some goodies.

The best overall script won a trip to the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Rome, travel and two nights in a hotel included, sponsored by ESA, the opportunity to talk with experts in relevant fields and to see the Phi Experience, opening up exciting insights into modern Earth observation.


Natural color view of wildfires in California in 2017. Hot spots highlighted to show possible active fires. View script in EO Browser.


  1. All scripts must run within the Sentinel Hub EO Browser.
  2. All scripts had to be handed in as text files until May 5th 2019 (23:59 CET). Together with the script, participants had to hand in a description on what their script can be used for and explanation on how it is achieving that. In case the script was based on other people’s work the necessary citations and links to relevant papers were included.
  3. By handing in a script, the participants confirmed to be the sole author(s) of the script and to have the necessary rights to do so.
  4. Every single participant or group could hand in up to three scripts, however, not more than one script per category was allowed.
  5. All entries needed to be licensed under the Creative Commons BY license, so they can be added to the custom scripts repository and be used freely by all.

Infrared view of wildfires in California in 2017. Hot spots highlighted to show possible active fires. View script in EO Browser.


Our Jury

Anca Popescu

Earth Observation Open Data Scientist at European Space Agency, PhD in Remote Sensing Earth Observation.

Anna Maria Trofaier

Earth Observation Scientist at ESRIN-ESA, PhD in active microwave satellite remote sensing from the University of Cambridge.

Annamaria Luongo

Ph.D. Student in Geophysics at the University of Salerno in Italy. Her research interests are Earth surface deformation caused by volcanoes, earthquakes, and remote sensing. She also has a keen interest in climate change and pollution.

Claus Zehner

European Space Agency.

Floriane Provost

IRF/Postdoctoral scientist at ESA/ESRIN. PhD in Geophysics from University of Strasbourg.

Harel Dan

GIS and remote sensing at HaMaarag, Israel's National Nature Assessment Program. His special interests are wildfire damages, long-term vegetation trends, landcover and landcover change mapping, and the encroaching of buildings and infrastructure on open landscapes.

Hayley Evers-King

Hayley Evers-King is a marine EO scientist with a focus on Sentinel-3 and ocean colour. Hayley has worked on a wide variety of topics including water quality, ocean heat flux, and carbon pools. She is passionate about growing the use of EO data and currently supports EUMETSAT on user support and training activities for their Copernicus missions. She believes science communication is part of every scientists job and has been involved in many activities promoting EO science, from the creation of ocean MOOCs, youtube videos, and open source python tutorials, to music compositions, poetry evenings, and cooking demonstrations.

Marie Helene Rio

Ocean Applications Scientist at ESRIN-ESA

Mark Parrington

Mark Parrington is a senior scientist at ECMWF where he works with the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service development team. His scientific interests are in using observations from satellites and aircraft to understand wildfires and how their emissions impact global atmospheric composition and air quality.

Miha Kadunc

Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Sinergise

Patrick Griffiths

EO Data Engineer at European Space Agency

Pierre Potin

Copernicus Sentinel-1 Mission Manager, at ESA / ESRIN

Simon Gascoin

Research scientist at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère in France, he is interested in improving our knowledge of water resources availability using satellite remote sensing, field instrumentation and numerical modeling. He mainly focuses on the study of the seasonal snow in mountainous regions.

Stef Lhermitte

Remote sensing scientist with specific interest in the use of multi-source remote sensing and land surface modelling to assess the cryosphere, atmosphere and ecosystem dynamics. Since 2016 he is assistant professor of Geoscience & Remote Sensing at the TUDelft in the Netherlands.

Zoltan Bartalis

Earth Observation Exploitation Engineer at the European Space Agency, focus on satellite-based applications in support of urban development and renewable energy projects.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Originality
  • Scientific relevance  
  • Global applicability
  • Business/Commercial potential
  • Visual appeal

Burned areas after fires

Burned areas after fires - multi-temporal script showing places, where NBR changed significantly before and after fire. View script in Sentinel Playground.


Results of the Custom Script Contest 2019

The winners of the contest were announced during the Living Planet Symposium in Milan on May 15. All the winners were also informed by e-mail and asked for additional information for delivering the awards.

Best overall script

  1. Detecting deep moist convection with Sentinel-2 - Stavros Dafis, Greece

Agriculture and Forestry

  1. Anomaly Detection - Jean-Baptiste Pleynet, Luxemburg
  2. Forest cut temporal detection - Nicolas Karasiak, France
  3. Pseudo Forest Canopy Density (pseudo-FCD) - Antonio Carlón Paredes, Spain

Marine environment

  1. White-water detection - Mohor Gartner, Slovenia
  2. Ocean plastic detector prototype - Bence Mélykúti, DPhil (Oxf), Germany

Snow and Glaciers

  1. Monthly snow report - Nicolas Karasiak, France
  2. Snow Cover Change Detection - Karl Chastko, Canada

Disaster management and prevention

  1. Detecting deep moist convection with Sentinel-2 - Stavros Dafis, Greece
  2. Seldom and regular water surface detection - Mohor Gartner, Slovenia
  3. Fire boundary script - Adzanil Rachmadhi Putra, Fatwa Ramdani, Indonesia

Air quality and Urban planning

  1. Green City - Carlos Bentes, Estonia
  2. City Highlights - Thales Sehn Körting, Brazil
  3. Sentinel-1 Urban Areas - Monja Šebela, Slovenia

Other scripts

  1. Land surface temperature (LST) mapping - Mohor Gartner, Slovenia
  2. Monthly composite - Nicolas Karasiak, France
  3. Barren Soil Script - Monja Šebela, Slovenia

Best SAR script

  1. Seldom and regular water surface detection - Mohor Gartner, Slovenia
  2. Sentinel-1 Urban Areas - Monja Šebela, Slovenia
  3. Forest Hurricane - Kamil Onoszko, Poland