FAQ

  • Earth Engine is a platform for scientific analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets, for academic, non-profit, business and government users.

    Earth Engine hosts satellite imagery and stores it in a public data archive that includes historical earth images going back more than forty years. The images, ingested on a daily basis, are then made available for global-scale data mining.

    Earth Engine also provides APIs and other tools to enable the analysis of large datasets.

  • Google Earth enables you to travel, explore, and learn about the world by interacting with a virtual globe. You can view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, and much more.

    Earth Engine, on the other hand, is a tool for analyzing geospatial information. You can analyze forest and water coverage, land use change, or assess the health of agricultural fields, among many other possible analyses.

    While the two tools rely on some of the same data, only some of Google Earth's imagery and data is available for analysis in Earth Engine.

  • The Earth Engine team has worked in close collaboration with Google Cloud to bring the Landsat and Sentinel-2 collections to Google Cloud Storage as part of the Google Cloud public data program.

    The Google Cloud collections make it much easier and more efficient to access the data directly from Cloud services such as Google Compute Engine or Google Cloud Machine Learning.

    Please note that the Earth Engine Code Editor and API do not access these Cloud collections; they use the Earth Engine data catalog directly.

  • Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. In line with this mission, Earth Engine organizes geospatial information and makes it available for analysis.

    More generally, Google strives to make the world a better place through the use of technology. Earth Engine's technical infrastructure powers humanitarian, scientific, and environmental initiatives which Google is proud to support.

  • Earth Engine provides easy, web-based access to an extensive catalog of satellite imagery and other geospatial data in an analysis-ready format. The data catalog is paired with scalable compute power backed by Google data centers and flexible APIs that let you seamlessly implement your existing geospatial workflows. This enables cutting-edge, global scale analysis and visualization.

  • Earth Engine is used by researchers, nonprofits, educators, and governmental agencies who use the system to analyze large-scale geospatial data. Please refer to our Case Studies for examples of Earth Engine in action.

  • To get access to Earth Engine, please fill out the form at signup.earthengine.google.com. You will receive an email titled "Welcome to Google Earth Engine" with instructions for getting started.

  • See the Google Earth Engine Developers Site for documentation and examples.

  • Imagery and data from third-parties may be imported into Earth Engine for analysis. Conversely, any analysis performed in Earth Engine can be downloaded for use by third-party tools.

  • We have a searchable data catalog, including the entire EROS (USGS/NASA) Landsat catalog, numerous MODIS datasets, Sentinel-1 data, NAIP data, precipitation data, sea surface temperature data, CHIRPS climate data, and elevation data.

    Users can also upload their own data for analysis in Earth Engine, with full control over access.

  • Please request any additional datasets using our dataset request form.

  • Yes. Earth Engine enables you to upload your own raster and vector data (e.g. GeoTIFF or Shape files) for analysis.

  • We encourage you to share your results. You can share your results and analysis scripts directly with other Earth Engine users, or you can simply download and share them as you would any other data.

  • Gorelick, N., Hancher, M., Dixon, M., Ilyushchenko, S., Thau, D., & Moore, R. (2017). Google Earth Engine: Planetary-scale geospatial analysis for everyone. Remote Sensing of Environment.

      Bibtex:
      @article{gorelick2017google,
        title={Google Earth Engine: Planetary-scale geospatial analysis for everyone},
        author={Gorelick, Noel and Hancher, Matt and Dixon, Mike and Ilyushchenko, Simon and Thau, David and Moore, Rebecca},
        journal={Remote Sensing of Environment},
        year={2017},
        publisher={Elsevier},
        doi={10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.031},
        url={https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.031}
      }
    
  • Earth Engine is free for research, education, and nonprofit use. For commercial applications, we offer paid commercial licenses. Please contact for details.

  • Earth Engine has a commercial license program, so if you are interested in pursuing a commercial application of our product, please contact us at earthengine-commercial@google.com.

    Earth Engine's terms allow for use in development, research, and education environments. It may also be used for evaluation in a commercial or operational environment, but sustained production use is not allowed. Additionally, data products generated by Earth Engine may not be sold.

  • You do. The results of all analyses you perform are yours. All algorithms that you write with our API are yours. Here's the fine print.

  • You are free to display your Earth Engine results on Google Maps or any other mapping platform.

  • Technical support: Our Help page provides resources for getting support, including the option for Earth Engine users to join the Developers email list where our staff and other Earth Engine users answer questions.

    Training: We hold frequent Earth Engine training sessions, including our annual Earth Engine User Summit and the Geo for Good conference, typically held at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. To receive announcements about the sessions, stay subscribed to the Developers email list, and/or the Google Earth Outreach mailing list, which also provides information and training on other Google mapping tools.