Terms of Service

NASA Earth Observatory image modified by SkyTruth

Terms of Service

Terms of Service

NASA Earth Observatory image modified by SkyTruth


Last updated: 22 November 2023

At SkyTruth, we make all of our maps, images, code, data sets, apps and APIs (i.e., services) freely available to the public, so environmental organizations, researchers, concerned citizens and others can explore data, share and publish their findings with others, and use the data in their own work.

SkyTruth products can only be used to advance the mission of SkyTruth to “share the view from space to promote conservation for people and the planet.” In other words, only environmental conservation applications are permitted. If you are unsure whether your intended use is for an approved purpose, please contact us at hello@skytruth.org.

By using SkyTruth services, you agree to abide by the terms of service outlined here. Your continued use of SkyTruth Alerts, or other SkyTruth services that pre-date these terms, constitutes your acceptance of these terms and future updates to these terms.

For additional terms relating to the use of our Cerulean program, see here. [added 22 Nov 2023]

Accounts and APIs

In general, SkyTruth services are available to anyone to view and use. Some services and/or features may require you to create a user account in order to use them. We will never give away, rent or sell your user account information, but may contact you about services you use. For example, we may contact you to ask you to be a beta tester to try out new services, approaches, or products. Our privacy policy has more information about how we protect your privacy. As a SkyTruth user, you have certain basic responsibilities:

  • You are responsible for keeping your account secure.
  • You are responsible for any content created with your account.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have permission to use any content that you add to Alerts, such as imagery, data sets, GeoJSON files and shapefiles, etc. [added 13 Apr 2021]
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you add proper attribution for any content that you add to Alerts maps and/or when you publish an Alerts map elsewhere. [added 13 Apr 2021]
  • If your use of a SkyTruth service requires an API key, you are responsible for keeping it secure.
  • You are responsible for any activity using your account or API key.

Additional Acknowledgements for Users of Cerulean

[This section was added 22 Nov 2023]

Cerulean uses satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to reveal the hidden impacts of global shipping and offshore oil production on the ocean and climate.  In particular, the data displayed by Cerulean contains information on the locations of oil slicks, nearby vessels, built infrastructure including oil platforms, and other geographic-based location data.

By accessing and using the data made available through Cerulean, you understand, acknowledge and agree that:

  • All the information provided by Cerulean is provided for informational purposes only.
  • While Cerulean provides information regarding the relative locations of slicks and nearby vessels or structures, we cannot confirm and therefore do not provide any conclusions or warranties that a particular slick or pollution event is related to a particular vessel or structure.  Conclusions regarding this relationship require additional investigation by you or other third parties.
  • The information accessed using Cerulean is not updated in real-time.
  • SkyTruth assumes no responsibility for your use of or actions taken in reliance on the information provided through Cerulean.  You should therefore exercise judgment when using the content made available on Cerulean, including but not limited to seeking independent verification of the factual information provided through Cerulean.

Attribution and Citation to SkyTruth

Your use of Cerulean is subject to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (“CC BY-SA”) referred to in the SkyTruth Terms of Use.

To copy, download or otherwise use any images, screen shots, data products, or other

materials from Cerulean, you must include any and all notices or marks of attribution included on the Web page or product. Such notices or marks include, without limitation, copyright notices, logos and links for SkyTruth, Cerulean and the Cerulean web page.

(a) If you include Cerulean in a bibliography or use the entire SkyTruth website as a source, use the following citation format:

“Copyright [2023 or current year in the SkyTruth copyright notice on the SkyTruth home page] SkyTruth, https://skytruth.org”.

(b) If you use any content from Cerulean, including without limitation screen shots, images,

data of any kind or other material from the Site, include any attribution that accompanies the content as published on Cerulean and use the following citation format:

“SkyTruth Cerulean (https://skytruth.org/cerulean). [2023 or current year]. [API dataset name and version], [DATE RANGE]. Data set accessed YYYY-MM-DD.”

Also include the following disclaimer:

SkyTruth has made every attempt to ensure the completeness, accuracy and reliability of the information provided on Cerulean. However, due to the nature and inherent limitations in source materials for information provided, SkyTruth qualifies all designations of vessels, structures, and oil slicks or other pollution events, regardless of how they are identified, as “apparent,” rather than certain. And accordingly, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.

Reservation of Rights

SkyTruth reserves all rights not expressly granted to you. The use of Cerulean, including its software, services, maps and other content, is only licensed to you and such license is non-transferable. In no event may you copy, loan, rent, time-share, sublicense, assign, transfer, lease, sell or otherwise dispose of the SkyTruth or Cerulean software, maps, or other content on a temporary or permanent basis except as expressly provided herein. These Terms shall benefit SkyTruth, its successors and assigns. You may not, or permit any third party to, modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works from, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or otherwise attempt to derive any source code from SkyTruth website or Cerulean web page software. All logos and product names appearing on or in connection with the Site are proprietary to SkyTruth or its licensors and/or suppliers. You agree never to remove any proprietary notices or product identification labels from the SkyTruth or Cerulean websites’ software, maps, and other content, if applicable.

Attribution and Credit

Many SkyTruth services contain built-in tools designed to help you share and publish your content, and we hope you will. Any content that you create using SkyTruth services (e.g., an annotated image using SkyTruth Alerts or use of SkyTruth APIs in your own products or services) belongs to you, as long as you agree to attribute SkyTruth’s work and not claim ownership of it.

Unless otherwise stated, your use of SkyTruth services are subject to the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (“CC BY-SA”), which may be updated from time to time. This license allows you and others to remix, tweak, and build upon these images, data services and materials in your own work, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, provided that you provide attribution to SkyTruth, include a link to the CC BY-SA terms and make these available in your work on those same CC BY-SA terms:  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode. A human-readable summary about the CC BY-SA can be found here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/. The Creative Commons wiki has more information about best practices for attribution under creative commons. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

In general, please attribute SkyTruth services like this:

[SkyTruth plus name of product or service with link], [year], licensed under CC BY SA , [modifications made, if any] by [you, the creator]. 

As an example, if you use SkyTruth Alerts to produce an annotated and marked up map image or video, your attribution would look like this:

SkyTruth Alerts, 2020, CC BY-SA / annotations and markup by Jane Smith.

Apache 2.0 License

Most of our publicly available code, data and other products are released as “open source,” free to use and re-distribute. Products available for download from this site are generally licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. Some products contain an explicit license file indicating the specific license terms. The Apache 2.0 license applies to any source code or other intellectual property distributed by SkyTruth that does not contain an explicit license declaration. https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.

Open data is important to us and we apply considerable effort to make many of our datasets available without restriction through the services. Nonetheless, some datasets may carry their own license and restrictions. You should review the dataset’s metadata to understand these restrictions.

You must comply with the licenses of SkyTruth datasets. All content displayed on or accessible through SkyTruth services is protected by United States copyright laws or their equivalents in other countries.

As an example, our mountaintop mining data and scripts are freely available to be used by other researchers. The Apache 2.0 license applies to your use of this data and/or the scripts. More information about the license is included with the data and script files.

Your use of SkyTruth services does not entitle you to any ownership rights in the intellectual property of SkyTruth services or their content. Some of the software used to provide the services may be made available separately under open source licenses.

Third-Party Content

Some SkyTruth services include third-party content. For example, SkyTruth Alerts partners with Planet to provide near real-time satellite imagery in Alerts, and we may partner with other services in the future. If any of your work created using SkyTruth services includes third-party content, you agree to abide by their terms.

For example, any work you create using Planet imagery must include an attribution like this:
Image © 2022 Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission

We do our best to provide these attributions for you in SkyTruth Alerts. You may not crop or remove any attributions provided in the SkyTruth Alerts map or satellite imagery in your own work. [clarified 9 Mar 2022]

Some SkyTruth services incorporate data and information from other sources (for example,  oil and chemical spill reports from the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center). Some of the data and information may be misleading or inaccurate. We cannot change this information nor be held responsible for its accuracy or completeness.


You agree not to misuse SkyTruth services in any way. You agree to use the services for lawful purposes only, and you agree that you will not harass or threaten anyone, or create any obscene, pornographic or otherwise offensive materials with SkyTruth services. You agree that you will not use the services in any manner that could damage or overburden the services or interfere with anyone else using the services.

We reserve the right to reject an account request, or to suspend or delete your account or API key, without reason or notification. For example, if we suspect that you are not abiding by the terms, or are abusing the system in some way, we may suspend or delete your account. If we suspend your account or API key, you lose your right to access these services again.


We are continuously trying to improve our services. This may cause us to update these Terms of Service. When we do, we will do our best to notify you, either through our application or website, or via email. The date of the last change to these terms is at the top of the page.  Please understand that if you have not created an account, we will have no way to contact you to let you know about changes. You must review these terms regularly for changes.

Changes to these Terms

We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time; all changes are effective when they are published on the SkyTruth website. You should review these terms regularly for changes. Your continued use of SkyTruth services after the terms have been updated constitutes your binding acceptance of the updated terms.

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