Method: projects.locations.thumbnails.create

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Creates an ID that can be used to render a "thumbnail" image.

This is used in conjunction with thumbnails.getPixels. A call to thumbnails.create provides an expression and some output options. The result of thumbnails.create is an ID that represents an image that is the result of evaluating that expression and applying those options. Subsequently, calls to thumbnails.getPixels can be made to get the image data for the entire resulting image. The ID will be valid for a moderate period (a few hours).

The most common use case for this pair of endpoints is to provide a complex expression via a POST to thumbnails.create, and then fetch the computed image via a GET to thumbnails.getPixels. This two-part process allows for use in more situations than image.computePixels. In particular: - the result of image.computePixels needs to be unwrapped to get the encoded image bytes. The result of thumbnails.getPixels can be displayed directly by a browser. - image.computePixels can only be called by an authorised user, using a properly-scoped OAuth token. thumbnails.create has the same restriction, but thumbnails.getPixels can be invoked with a URL containing an API key, so URLs invoking it can be used more broadly.

The result of evaluating the expression has to meet some reasonable requirements for the requested image format. In particular, JPEG or PNG format requires that there be one or three output bands, and clips values that are outside the 0-255 range.

The description "thumbnail" does not imply a restriction on the size of the computed image: the same restrictions as image.computePixels apply to thumbnails.create/thumbnails.getPixels. Requests are limited to 32MB in uncompressed data per request, computed as the product of the request dimensions in pixels, the number of image bands requested, and the number of bytes per pixel for each band. Requests are also limited to at most 10000 pixels in either dimension and at most 1024 bands. Requests exceeding these limits will result in an error code of 400 (BAD_REQUEST).

HTTP request


The URL uses gRPC Transcoding syntax.

Path parameters



Required. The parent of the thumbnail collection (e.g., "projects/*").

Authorization requires the following IAM permission on the specified resource parent:

  • earthengine.thumbnails.create

Query parameters



User supplied tag to track this computation.

Request body

The request body contains an instance of Thumbnail.

Response body

If successful, the response body contains a newly created instance of Thumbnail.

Authorization Scopes

Requires one of the following OAuth scopes:


For more information, see the Authentication Overview.