Multi-source Geospatial Data Analysis with Google Earth Engine

Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:55 PM
Tyler Erickson, Google, Mountain View, CA, United States
The Google Earth Engine platform is a cloud computing environment for data analysis that combines a public data catalog with a large-scale computational facility optimized for parallel processing of geospatial data. The data catalog is a multi-petabyte archive of georeferenced datasets that include images from Earth observing satellite and airborne sensors (examples: USGS Landsat, NASA MODIS, USDA NAIP), weather and climate datasets, and digital elevation models. Earth Engine supports both a just-in-time computation model that enables real-time preview and debugging during algorithm development for open-ended data exploration, and a batch computation mode for applying algorithms over large spatial and temporal extents. The platform automatically handles many traditionally-onerous data management tasks, such as data format conversion, reprojection, and resampling, which facilitates writing algorithms that combine data from multiple sensors and/or models. Although the primary use of Earth Engine, to date, has been the analysis of large Earth observing satellite datasets, the computational platform is generally applicable to a wide variety of use cases that require large-scale geospatial data analyses.

This presentation will focus on how Earth Engine facilitates the analysis of geospatial data streams that originate from multiple separate sources (and often communities) and how it enables collaboration during algorithm development and data exploration. The talk will highlight current projects/analyses that are enabled by this functionality.