Need help for opening Sentinel-2 data

Hello!!! I am a new person who needs real time or near real time satellite imagery (it is that simple!!!).
I do not understand what is L1C tile and SNAP and Sentinel-2 toolbox, so make it clear if you want to explain it. I wanted satellite imagery and went to USGS’s EarthExplorer and got the data of the required area from the data set of Sentinel 2 and understood that I needed to download the data (I thought that there will be simply images of the area and my work will be done; but that was not so) which I did but there were xml files and all sort of other extensions that I am not familiar with. So I googled and learned that I perhaps need a software to open, but I cannot understand that which software I need…
So can any of you tell me what I need to download to open the satellite imagery that I obtained (there was a folder containing many folders like DATASTRIP, GRANULES etc.
P.S. You must have realized that I do not understand any of the terms, but I am ready to understand, and learn how to get these images. I downloaded L1C tile in JPEG2000 format; I thought it will simply be images but you know what it is.
Thanks, any help will be appreciated.

  1. Download SNAP from here according to your system and install it:
  2. File > Import > Optical > Sentinel 2 L1C
  3. Choose the xml file in the downloaded folder.
  4. If you just need the image you can export it as a jpg or other format subsequently.

This might be helpful to you as well:

Thank you for your quick reply!!! I will try to do it in the following day and update as necessary.
I just cannot get one thing (two rather)1) What should I download??? I mean there is Sentinel toolbox, SMOS toolbox, all toolbox. Which one should I download???
2) There are two xml files (INSPIRE and MTD_MSIL1C) which one should I select???
Again Thanks alot!!!

  1. Sentinel Toolbox is sufficient
  2. The MTD

Okay will do. I also downloaded Geotiff file and converted it to JPEG, but the resolution was not good. What will the resolution of this JPEG2000 be??? I know that Sentinel-2 offers 10,20,60 metres resolution so that is why I need a picture of higher resoulution (that file is big!!!).

If you select File > Export > Other > View As Image
you can choose between Full resolution or View resolution. Choose Full resolution.

As the pixel size is 10m these are a lot of pixels. You can however make a subset by zooming to the area you are interested in and right-click > Create subset from view

I have downloaded and saved image file as bmp (could not get JPEG maybe you can tell). Just one thing the image has 839x595 pixels, it is not that much, the picture blows and the image is blurred.

Where have you downloaded this.
If you want the full resolution you need to download the full product and follow the video and what Andreas suggested. From the conversation I thought you already downloaded the product.
And where have you downloaded the GeoTiff file?

Both files are on my PC, I downloaded the product from USGS (about 97.6 MB). Then I imported it and opened the image MSI Natural Color from SNAP. Further I did What Andreas said and created a bmp image and there we are. Also there were two download options (EarthExplorer) first one was JPEG2000 one and another Geotiff I downloaded the first one and also Geotiff, it was a file [I do not remember maybe 2 or 3]. Then I converted the Geotiff into JPEG and that picture was nothing compared to JPEG2000 but still JPEG2000 is not that much.

I would suggest that you download the files directly from ESA.
Signup and download the file you are interested in.
You will get a zip file which you need to unpack.
You will get a directory named S2A_.SAFE.
Inside this directory you have a file MTD_MSIL1C.xml (if it is an older format version the name can also be S2A_OPER_
.xml). This one should be opened in SNAP.
Then you should follow the video to create the RGB image and do the export.

I had a quick look at the USGS data.
The GeoTiff seems to be in 20m resolution.
What USGS calls the JPEG2000 format is actually the SAFE format.
So, if you use this, the procedure described above should work.
I’m still downloading one product. Download is very slow at the moment. So I haven’t tested it. But I’m pretty sure.


I created the RGB image and have tried exporting the file as image but the resolution is still not good, can you tell me the procedure for exporting??? I tried to download files from ESA a long time ago but I could not get the data to be downloaded. The add to cart button does nothing.

  1. First open the product,
  2. Then create the RGB image by selecting from the context ‘Open RGB Image Window’.
  3. Use the Natural Colors profile or change it as you like.
  4. Select from the context menu of the image ‘Export View as Image’
  5. Select file location and change format from BMP to PNG or JPEG. Also ensure to select ‘Full scene’ and ‘Full resolution’

    Now you should have an image with the 10m resolution.

I did exactly that but it says that it has run out of memory. One other thing how good is 10m resolution like can I see houses individually?

out of memory means your system is not strong enough to create the image.

Individual houses cannot be seen at resolutions of 10 meters, sorry.

Oh, I was wrong I meant “farms” individually because I live far away from them. Well I get it.

It looks like this on my screen:
One pixel on screen is one pixel in the image. That’s the best you can get, if you zoom in further it gets blurry.

You can do the image creation on a subset. Then less memory is needed.
Zoom and Navigate to the region you are interested in and then do the export. But stick to ‘View region’, only select ‘Full resolution’ in the export dialog.

I get it that seeing smaller things like houses and stuff like that is not visible so farms will not do any good. Problem is over. What do people do with this data??? I mean what kind of work does this involve??? How can people benefit from ESA’s project???

There is a long list of application.
For example here (not only s2):

From USGS Earth Explorer there are Sentinel-2 but most file is MSI Sentinel-2. But from ESA website which is, there are additional data that havent mention in USGS Earth Explorer. So I prefer download in ESA. After consider which website example from ESA website, you have to Signup and download and choose to location you want to download. Then
You will get a zip file which you need to unzip it.
You will get a directory named S2A_*.SAFE.
Inside this directory you will have a file S2A_OPER_.xml.
After that open using SNAP and Choose product, get the xml file first. Then you can do whatever wanna do like show RGB by right click on the file and choose “Open RGB Image Window”. Then you look at what you have download.

I have read through this thread but I still have a problem opening Sentinel 2 images in SNAP 5.0. I hope you can help.

I have downloaded the image ‘S2A_MSIL1C_20170925T113321_N0205_R080_T30UUF_20170925T113315’ (which I’ll call <image_name>) from, extracted the image using 7-Zip into a folder C:/Data/S2A/

Using SNAP 5.0: File>Open Product I browsed to the <image_name>.SAFE folder and tried to open the MTD_MSIL1C.xml but I get an error, ‘Invalid OpenJpeg executables’.

To try to resolve the issue I have:
tried downloading the same imagery from these providers:
But the same error occurs.

I also updated the plugins, (Tools>Plugins>Updates) including the ‘Sentinel-2 Toolbox Kit Module’.
Same error occurs.

I have also tried opening the images in SNAP via File>Import>Optical Sensors>Sentinel-2>S2 MSI L1C but get the same error ‘Invalid OpenJpeg executables’.

I can open the images in ArcMap.

Any ideas?

Thanks in anticipation,