FAQ

  • Earth Engine is a platform for petabyte-scale scientific analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets, both for public benefit and for business and government users.

    Earth Engine stores satellite imagery, organizes it, and makes it available for the first time for global-scale data mining. The public data archive includes historical earth imagery going back more than forty years, and new imagery is collected every day. Earth Engine also provides APIs in JavaScript and Python, as well as other tools, to enable the analysis of large datasets.

  • Earth Engine and Google Earth serve different purposes. Google Earth enables you to travel and learn about the world through 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. Although Earth Engine has a data catalog, not everything available in Google Earth is available for analysis in the Earth Engine catalog. Similarly, much of the data in Earth Engine is not currently available for visualization in Google Earth.

  • 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.

  • To get access to the advanced features of Earth Engine, please fill out the form at https://earthengine.google.com/signup. We are not accepting all applications, so please fill out all fields as best you can so we can evaluate your request for access.

    If you are accepted, you will receive an email titled "Google Groups: You've been added to google-earth-engine-invites" within one week of applying. Please read that email, as it contains further steps you'll need to follow to get access.

  • Earth Engine is free for research, education, and nonprofit use. For commercial applications, we offer paid commercial licenses for appropriate use cases. Please contact earthengine-commercial@google.com for details.

  • Earth Engine’s terms allow for use in development, evaluation,research, and education environments. It may be evaluated in a commercial or operational environment but use is not allowed for sustained production use, and data products generated by Earth Engine may not be sold. However, we do have 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 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 how Earth Engine is being used.

  • 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 public data program. The collections in Google Cloud are best suited to workflows where you need to access the data directly from Cloud services such as Google Compute Engine or Google Cloud Machine Learning. The Earth Engine Code Editor and the Earth Engine API do not access these Cloud collections but instead use the Earth Engine data catalog directly.

  • Documentation and examples of how to use Earth Engine may be found on our Google Developers Site documentation.

  • Imagery and data from other tools may be imported into Earth Engine for analysis. Any analysis performed in Earth Engine can be downloaded for use by other tools.

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

  • You may request that we add additional datasets using our dataset request form.

  • Yes. You may upload your own raster data (for example GeoTIFF files) to Earth Engine for analysis. Vector data may be loaded into Google Fusion Tables and accessed in Earth Engine.

  • You are free to display Earth Engine results in any mapping platform.

  • We encourage Earth Engine users to share the results. Results and analysis scripts may be shared directly with other Earth Engine users through Earth Engine tools, or may be downloaded and shared like any other data.

  • 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.

  • Google Earth Engine Team, 2015. Google Earth Engine: A planetary-scale geospatial analysis platform. https://earthengine.google.com

      Bibtex:
      @misc{googleearthengine,
        title        = {Google Earth Engine: A planetary-scale geo-spatial analysis platform},
        author       = {{Google Earth Engine Team}},
        howpublished = { \url{https://earthengine.google.com} },
        month        = 12
        year         = 2015
      }
    
  • Once you have been given access to Earth Engine, you may join our Developers list where Earth Engine staff and other Earth Engine users answer questions about each other's scripts. Approximately once a year, generally in early December, we open up the Earth Engine Research Awards for proposals. We do frequent Earth Engine trainings, which are typically announced on the Developer's list, as well as through the Google Earth Outreach mailing list. These include the annual Earth Engine User Summit and the Geo for Good conference, typically held at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.