Google.org introduced a new Google Labs product called Google Earth Engine at the International Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Google Earth Engine is a new technology platform that puts petabytes of satellite imagery and data from the past 25 years online, many of which have never been seen, much less analyzed. The platform will enable scientists around the world to use Google’s cloud computing infrastructure to implement their applications. For example, creating a detailed forest cover and water map of Mexico, a task that would have taken 3 years on one computer, was accomplished in less than a day.
Google Earth Engine can help scientists track and analyze changes in Earth’s environment and can be used for a wide range of applications—from mapping and monitoring water resources to ecosystem services to deforestation. The idea is to enable global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment by providing scientists a vast new amount of data and powerful computing resources.