New API Brings EPIC Earth Imagery to Developers

Nov 4, 2016

Daily imagery data taken by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera is now accessible via a RESTful API available from the NASA API Portal.

A photo from Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC).

The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) is an instrument aboard NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite, which orbits at Earth’s Lagrange point, the sweet spot in space where the gravitational tug of the Earth and the Sun is equal. This allows DSCOVR to maintain a stable position between the Earth and Sun and thus a continuous view of the sunlit side of Earth. Such a unique vantage point allows DSCOVR to measure many of Earth’s characteristics, including ozone levels, aerosol amounts, cloud height and phase, vegetation properties, hotspot land properties and UV radiation estimates at Earth’s surface. EPIC takes global spectral images of Earth and captures exceptional perspectives of certain astronomical events—like the Moon passing between it and Earth.


The EPIC API can be employed to search for images by date and then geographical region or by focusing on the geographical regions that were viewable on a specific date. It also allows searches for the latest images, providing a list of dates for which images are available in a JSON list. Retrievable metadata for every image in the collection includes image name, date, caption, and coordinates.

The web development team for the Laboratory for Atmospheres in the Earth Sciences Division of the Goddard Space Flight Center began development of the EPIC API in 2015. The EPIC imagery is freely available for reproduction or reuse, including for commercial purposes—but please give credit to the NASA EPIC Team for the original materials.


For further information on the NASA media usage guidelines, please visit For more information about EPIC or DSCOVR, or for additional access to the EPIC API, visit: This post was originally published on the openNASA blog.