Read / Load Sentinel 2 compressed files (tar|zip)

Is it possible to read/access compressed Sentinel 2 products using the snap toolbox?

Hello @iliion

Products retrieved from the Scihub (ZIP format) can be dragged and dropped into the Product Explorer field of SNAP, and visualised.



Jan Jackson
OPT-MPC S2 Technical Manager


Thanks for the fast reply.
Is this true also for tar files?

No, only zip archives are supported.

Is the support for tar archives something that will be added in the near future?
I think it would be a good feature

No, not planned yet. As far as I now data is only distributed in zip format, or do you know some source which provides the data in tar format.

I can think of various reasons but not a provider that serves tar files. In general Zip files are not suitable for interactive analysis/exploratory visualisation since each call to read a portion of a jp2 file would entail first unzip the relative file. GDAL can be used to directly read files from a tar file and there should not be any overhead in reading a jp2 file from a tar file compared to reading the same jp2 file stored on disk as individual file. In addition, the main objective of having support for tar is to reduce the number of inodes in the file system.

Indeed, this is a good use-case. But also, not very widespread, I think.
However, the effort to provide support for this should not be very high.

I’ve noted it in out ticket system for the future development:
[SIITBX-483] Support reading MSI data from tar file - JIRA

Thanks for the feedback

1 Like

But the items in a tar are not directly adressable, because there is no inventory. The whole data stream needs to be read up to the position where you want to read. So, aren’t zip files (with no compression) better?