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Please choose below the options you’d like for your downloaded loop. These tips might be helpful in making your choices:

  • The size of the downloaded images is determined by your browser window, so changing it’s size will change the image size
    • This size includes the space behind the controls on the left (i.e. clicking the “Hide” button will show you the final size of your downloaded images)
  • File format options
    • Animated PNG: Loop of all images that’s lossless (highest quality), but results in bigger file size and they aren’t supported by all software programs (Powerpoint and Twitter are notable for their lack of support for animated PNGs)
    • Animated GIF: Loop of all images using a limited number of colors, so file size will be smaller, and they work with almost all software
    • Current Image: Download just the currently-displayed image on it’s own in PNG format
    • All Images Separately: Download each image in the entire loop separately (not animated) in PNG format
  • Current limitations of this feature:
    • Comparing images side-by-side (i.e. “slider mode”) isn’t currently saved, but will be in the future
    • The Follow Feature feature isn’t currently saved, but will be in the future
    • Internet Explorer and Edge users: Creating animaged PNGs or animated GIFs with these browsers doesn’t currently work, and supporting these browsers is a lower priority given their limited use. They can create single images, though, so we suggest either:
      • Using the “All Images Separately” option and saving each image, then using something like Imagemagick to make an animated image on your local system
      • Using either of these excellent browsers: Chrome or Firefox.

Please wait while your browser builds the image(s). Your browser is downloading and stitching together small “image tiles” to create the image(s), and the higher that number gets, the longer it will take. Please note that this may take multiple minutes on slower systems depending on the complexity of the loop, and can even crash your browser for very complex loops. If you get a warning that the browser is running slowly, please click “Wait” and it should continue processing.

Once the progress bar above completes, the image will appear below. At that point you can right-click the image(s) and choose the option similar to “Save link as…” or “Save Image as…” to save it to your computer.

Known bugs that are being worked on:

  • Sometimes Chrome will finish creating the image and display it, but not let the user save it to their computer. If you experience this issue, please try using Firefox
  • Occasionally Firefox will display gaps between “image tiles” that appear as black lines.

If you experience other problems, please email cira_slider AT with a link to the loop you were trying to download and details about the problem. Thanks for your patience as we work out the final bugs with this much-requested feature.

Logo for Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)

The recent launches of the GOES-16 and Himawari-8 satellites bring with them immense data sets of satellite imagery, and new visualization tools are needed to facilitate their exploration. To that end, the Satellite Loop Interactive Data Explorer in Real-time (SLIDER) web application was recently developed by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) in partnership with the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB; a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)), located at Colorado State University (CSU). SLIDER provides full-resolution, standard and value-added imagery products from GOES-16 and Himawari-8 to both the scientific community and the general public. All development work was done by Kevin Micke with advice from and consultation with many colleagues within RAMMB and CIRA.

SLIDER is currently in public beta. For an overview of how SLIDER can be used, please see our recent publication in BAMS:

Micke, K., 2018: Every Pixel of GOES-17 Imagery at Your Fingertips. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 99, 2217–2219,

Quick guides explaining many of the derived products and native bands available on SLIDER can be found at:

More info on the native imagery bands from NOAA’s GOES-R series of satellites including GOES-16 is available at:


Please read through the help information below. If you still have questions about SLIDER after reading below, or if you have any feedback you’d like to share, please email cira_slider AT

Basic Features

  • All available GOES-16 sectors including Full Disk, CONUS, and both Mesoscale sectors (similar for Himawari)
  • Access to all 16 bands for each sector
  • Some of CIRA’s derived products are also available
  • Zoom in on interesting features in the imagery
  • Drag imagery around to view different parts of it
  • Toggle on/off a map and lat/lon lines
  • Options to choose the time step and the number of images in the loop

Advanced Features

  • Choose imagery from an archive that’s over a month long (~22 TB) for GOES-16 and GOES-17 data, plus 1 week of Himawari data
    • If you’re viewing a real-time (non-archived) loop, and would like to save/share the exact times you’re viewing instead of the real-time imagery that will update, simply click the “(A)rchived Imagery” button to have the current times saved in the URL for sharing
  • Overlay multiple loops and vary their transparency:
  • Hide/show loops:
  • Slider tool useful for comparing multiple loops:
  • Ability to draw on the imagery (useful for presenting)
  • Keyboard shortcuts for almost everything
  • All changes you make are immediately saved in the URL, so you can easily share exactly what you’re looking at through email and social media
  • Works in the browsers on many smartphones

Performance Tips

  • SLIDER will always work better on faster desktop and laptop computers, as viewing as much data as is possible with it will push many browsers to their limits
  • Please keep in mind that if you have an older or slower system, your user experience may be less than ideal
  • Works best in Google Chrome, but also works well in other browsers that have been tested
  • Some of the functions require newer browsers, so if you’re using an old browser, it’s likely you’ll experience bugs and/or it might not work at all
  • The further you zoom in on imagery, the harder your browser has to work
  • For each overlay product/layer of imagery you add, your browser has to work significantly harder
  • If you have a very high resolution screen, performance may suffer, but can be helped if you shrink the size of your browser window

Keyboard Shortcuts

Basic Controls

  • Right/Left: Move to next/previous image in loop
  • j/k: Move to next/previous image in loop
  • Up/Down: Increase/Decrease animation speed
  • Spacebar: Play or stop loop
  • l (lowercase L): Play loop forward
  • r: Rock/Play loop back and forth
  • v: Play loop in reverse
  • m: Hide/show map on imagery
  • n: Hide/show latitude and longitude lines on imagery
  • h: Hide/show the controls (i.e. full screen mode). Note that all keyboard shortcuts still work when the controls are hidden
  • F11: In most browsers, this will also get rid of the browser interface, for true full screen mode
  • y: Start SLIDER session over from the default satellite, sector, and product
  • u: Share the exact loop you’re viewing with others using a shortened URL. Note that everything except drawings is saved, including if you pause, select dates from the archive, add overlay products, etc.
  • ? (question mark or slash): Show/Hide this help screen

Imagery Selection

To add or change imagery using the dropdown menus, tap the keyboard shortcuts below, use Up/Down to select the option you’d like, and then press Enter to confirm your selection:

  • s: Change satellite
  • c: Change sector
  • p: Change product
  • i: Number of images
  • t: Time step
  • o: Add overlay product

Advanced Controls

  • b: Select imagery from the archive by setting the beginning date and time
  • e: Add web slider for top product
  • d: Toggle mouse draw/drag function
  • g: Clear any drawing on the canvas
  • Shift+Up/Down/Left/Right: Move imagery within the window

Zoom Controls

  • + (plus/equals): Zoom in on the point in the imagery at center of your screen
  • – (minus/hyphen): Zoom out of the point in the imagery at center of your screen
  • z: Shortcut to click the “Max Zoom” button, after which the next point you click will be zoomed in on at the highest zoom level for the sector
  • Ctrl++ (plus/equals): Make interface larger using the normal zoom function of your browser
  • Ctrl+- (minus/hyphen): Make interface smaller using the normal zoom function of your browser
  • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 (both numeric keypad and normal keys work): Zoom in on the part of the image in the center of your screen to a specific zoom level/imagery resolution. 0 is not zoomed at all, while 5 is the most zoomed. Note that smaller sectors won’t have the highest zoom levels, but the higher keyboard shortcuts will take you to the highest zoom level for that sector, at which the imagery will be full resolution.
  • If the mouse scroll zooming isn’t working in your browser, please use double-left-click and double-right-click or the on-screen buttons to zoom in/out

Mouse Shortcuts

  • Click and drag imagery: Move imagery within the window
  • Double-left-click: Zoom in
  • Double-right-click: Zoom out
  • Scroll wheel or touchpad up/down: Zoom in/out of imagery
  • Right-click (Command+click on Mac): Open menu to select specific resolution at which to view the point you right-clicked
  • Click “Max Zoom” button: Zoom directly to the highest zoom level for a sector by clicking the “Max Zoom” button and the clicking the point on the imagery you want to zoom to
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