Frequently Asked Questions


How do I migrate to the new Solar API from the previous version?

Where can I get help?

What do these error codes mean?

Project configuration

What permissions do I need on my Cloud project?

Can I use my API key with more than one Cloud project?

  • No, only use your API key for one Cloud project. If you have more Cloud projects, each should have their own API key. Note that, within a single project, it's normal to have several API keys.


How do I limit costs?

Solar model

How often are data refreshed?

  • New data are added all the time, but we don't have a specific refresh rate for specific regions. Some regions use imagery that is several years old. Please check the dates of the relevant imagery, and feel free to file feedback.

Where can I learn more about the assumptions for the solar financial analysis?

  • Google uses information about government solar incentives, along with other financial data and models, from Clean Power Research.

Are chimneys and skylights taken into consideration by the API when making an assessment of solar panel placement?

  • Yes, with height maps chimneys and skylights are identified as small rectangles, and solar panels are excluded by the model.

Can the API see inside of buildings?

  • No, just the roofs.

Can the API make assessments for a specific apartment within a building complex?

  • Depends. The model uses Google Maps data, and so if the apartment is classified as a whole building in Google Maps, then the roof of a specific apartment of that building are displayed as separate.

Why does the API sometimes not return any data for a building which I know exists?

  • This can happen when there are newer buildings that did not exist when mapping was realized at the time.

How can I use the flux solar data layer for visualizing shade?

  • North-facing roofs get less flux (solar irradiance), which means they will have higher shade. You can leverage this information when performing solar assessments. The flux data layer lets you visualize flux in colors.
  • You can alternatively make your own flux tiles and customize their colors, especially if you wish to locate specific numerical values of shade on a roof.

How can I use hourlyShadeUrls from the dataLayers service?

  • You can get back a daily snapshot of shade throughout the year, and produce an animated GIF or video of shade changing during a year.

Can I perform my own custom calculations?

  • Yes, can use the flux and DSM (height map at each point) solar data layers for greater customization.

Why does the API return a URL, and what can I do with them?

  • The URLs are short-lived pointers to enable you to download the corresponding data layers.