What is Open Planet?

Open Planet is a trusted, open-source library of visual content about our changing world, created to address the challenges faced by storytellers in scaling up communications about the planetary crisis. By capturing high-quality, inspiring footage, teamed with credible, world-class science, and making it accessible to all and available for free, we’re empowering changemakers to tell stories that will drive the changes needed in the next decade.

We’re collaborating with individuals and organisations across the world to grow our library and ensure it reaches those who need it most – from educators to campaigners, Indigenous leaders, activists and content creators.

Why was Open Planet created?

Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. Science tells us this decade is crucial for addressing the two biggest challenges before us – climate change and biodiversity loss – whilst creating a fair and just world. While the impacts are already being felt across the world, the problems and solutions are not being captured or made visible to others. High-quality, credible, and inspiring footage of the planetary crisis rarely exists. If it does, it’s often rights-restricted or expensive to use, creating a barrier for storytellers and communicators.

Open Planet is changing this, unleashing the transformative power of storytelling by making credible, inspiring visuals freely available to everyone.

Which organisations are behind Open Planet?

Open Planet is a fully independent, non-profit Community Interest Company, also known as a social enterprise. It was created by Studio Silverback, award-winning filmmakers for impact, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, creators of interactive, data-driven stories about our planet using the EarthTime platform.

We collaborate with a global network of filmmakers, innovators, organisations, scientists and local experts to ensure content in our library reflects a wide range of global issues, solutions and perspectives relating to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The conception of Open Planet would not have been possible without the generous support and enthusiasm of our shareholders: Jamie Arnell, Roy Bedlow, Julia Davies, Nick Marple, Nick Powell and Torben Wind.  

How can I support Open Planet?

Storytelling is at the heart of our mission, and one of the best ways you can support us is by using our content to create and share your own stories about our changing planet – and inspire others to do the same.

Creative collaboration and partnership is also central to our mission, and as a non-profit organisation, we rely on the generosity of donors and partners to help drive forward our mission and ensure Open Planet can remain a free resource forever. If you would like to partner with us or discuss funding opportunities, please get in touch: enquiries@openplanet.org.


What type of stories and content feature on Open Planet?

Open Planet brings together powerful footage and data visualisations from every continent, spanning issues linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We’re documenting the major environmental impacts and challenges facing people and nature globally, along with the solutions and inspiring stories of success from innovators creating positive change at a local and global level. You’ll also discover stories from those on the frontline of the climate crisis, including exclusive interviews with community voices, Indigenous leaders, scientists and experts.

How often will new content be added?

We will be adding to the library on a continual basis, with new collections landing each week. Over time, our ever-growing library will cover a whole host of global issues linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. If you would like to receive news and content updates, sign up to our newsletter here.

Can I request a higher resolution file?

Our readily available content should cover most intended uses. However, if you need a higher resolution version, please get in touch with the Open Planet team providing full details of your request and the content you would like to download: enquiries@openplanet.org.

How much does it cost to use content from Open Planet?

All content featured in the Open Planet library is available to download and use for free, for informational, educational and non-commercial use. If you wish to use Open Planet content for any other uses, including commercial, please contact: enquiries@openplanet.org.


Who can download/use content from Open Planet?

All content featured on Open Planet is globally available to download and use for free, for educational, environmental and impact storytelling. Whether you’re an individual, a changemaker, an educator or decision-maker, our visual library can help your stories make an impact.

Where can I use content I download from Open Planet?

Open Planet content is freely available for any non-commercial / not-for-profit use. For example, this could be for public or private events, or social media. The purpose of using Open Planet content should always be to make information about the planetary crisis available to others.

When using content from our library, you must always include the correct credits and acknowledgements (as detailed under ‘image credits’ for each file) and only use in the context intended. For instance, you must not distort or misrepresent the original meaning of the footage, or use in a way that is factually incorrect or inconsistent with our mission to address the planetary crisis – such as greenwashing. Any misuse of content, including in ways that are defamatory, obscene or illegal, will be addressed in line with our Terms & Conditions, which you must read and agree to before downloading content.

If you have any queries about content usage, please do reach out to the team: enquiries@openplanet.org.

How should I credit or acknowledge Open Planet and the authors of footage I use?

Please always credit Open Planet by noting ‘Images are freely available at OpenPlanet.org’. If you are restricted on space, at minimum please reference Open Planet as a source.

Where applicable, you must also credit the filmmaker, broadcaster or production company that kindly donated the footage to our library, as listed in the information section for each asset.

Depending on how/where you are sharing content, credits should be incorporated in one or both of the following ways:

  • Within your film or final asset – for example, showing credits at the beginning or end of the content you are creating.
  • Within the accompanying text – for example, adding credits to the caption on social media or in marketing materials for your event.

When sharing content on social media, we would also encourage use of our hashtag #OpenPlanet, and you can find us on: InstagramLinkedIn and YouTube.

If you have any questions regarding credits for Open Planet, you can get in touch at: enquiries@openplanet.org. Please do not feature the Open Planet logo or branding without our consent.

Do I need to install any software to download content?

No, you do not need any specific software for general downloads of Open Planet content, though please ensure you have sufficient storage on your device. There is an option for faster downloads using Aspera, a data transfer software that helps users to move large files quickly and securely. For this option, you will need to install the Aspera software and browser extension. Open Planet has a limited number of fast downloads available, so we would encourage use of the standard download option where possible, to help ensure we can remain a free resource for all.

Can I download content to my mobile phone?

It is possible to download content using a mobile phone, though please note downloads will take longer and you will need sufficient storage on your device, as most file sizes are large to retain quality. For fast downloads, you will need to use a laptop or desktop device and install the required Aspera software and browser extension.

Why is some content on Open Planet available on a request-only basis?

While all of our content is free to download for non-commercial use, some clips in our library are available by request only. This is often for clips that are more sensitive in nature or feature an individual (such as an interview) so that we can closely manage the use of this content. You will still be able to preview the clip within the library.  

If you would like to use a clip that is listed as request only, please reach out to the team at enquiries@openplanet.org with further information. 

Why do I need to sign up if it’s free to use? How will my data be used?

You can search and explore our library without registering but if you want to save clips, create collections or download content from us, you’ll need to register with your email address. You can also opt in to receive news and updates from us from time to time, such as alerts to new content.


I’m having issues downloading content - what can I do?

Some content may take a while to download depending on your bandwidth and the size of the files. If you’re experiencing any problems, please get in touch with us via email: enquiries@openplanet.org.

I’m a journalist wanting to feature Open Planet in the media - who can I speak to?

For all media enquiries and interview requests for Open Planet, please contact: Bethany.Hutchings@openplanet.org.

Still have questions?

Please get in touch and a member of the Open Planet team will be happy to help you.

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