Earth Engine for Noncommercial and Research Use

Join our community of scientists and nonprofits using Earth Engine for research, climate analysis, natural resource management, and more.

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For more than a decade, Earth Engine has enabled planetary-scale Earth data science and analysis by nonprofit organizations, research scientists, and other impact users.

With the launch of Earth Engine for commercial use, commercial customers will be charged for Earth Engine services. However, Earth Engine will remain free of charge for noncommercial use and research projects. Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, educators, news media, Indigenous governments, and government researchers are eligible to use Earth Engine free of charge, just as they have done for over a decade.

Get started

To help you determine if you’re eligible to use Earth Engine free of charge, click on your 'Institution Type' to read more:

Nonprofit organization

You are a nonprofit organization using the services for research, education or noncommercial activities. You are not using Earth Engine to sell a product or service, you will not receive any compensation for applications or data created by use of the services, and you are not using Earth Engine to perform operational activities for government entities.

Academic or educational institution

You are a student, faculty, or staff at an academic or educational institution, e.g. K-12, college/university, and want to use Earth Engine for research or educational/teaching purposes. You are not using Earth Engine for commercial activities on behalf of commercial entities or operational activities on behalf of government entities.

News media organization

You are a journalist at an organization whose primary mission is journalism.

Certain government agencies

For a government agency to be eligible to use Earth Engine free of charge, it must be a Least Developed Country, an Indigenous Government, or be using Earth Engine for Government Research Activities.

  • For Least Developed Country (LDC) eligibility, your government must be listed by the United Nations (UNCTAD); see the latest list of countries (as of 27 Sep 2021).
  • For Indigenous Government eligibility, your government must be officially recognized by your national government.
  • For all other government agencies, Earth Engine is free of charge if it is used for Government Research Activities. For your use to qualify as Government Research Activities all of the following requirements must be met:
    • The project work is question-driven.
    • The project work has a stated start & (estimated) end date.
    • The project work has a limit on the amount of compute and data, such that it isn't “operational,” or repeated periodically over time. If Government Research Activities are repeated periodically over time, that would then be considered an operational use case. As an example, a government agency’s use of Earth Engine to run the same algorithm on a monthly or annual basis would not qualify as Government Research Activities.
    • The project work is meant to result in scholarly output, e.g. manuscripts in a peer reviewed scholarly journal, white papers, or other documentation about the scientific methods. Findings should be made public: e.g. code libraries or datasets (results and training/validation) shared with the scientific community.

Free access to Earth Engine for your project work is subject to periodic review by Google. Government users should use Earth Engine with an institutional Google account.

Trainer or Trainee

You offer Earth Engine training to Earth Engine users, or are taking a training course to learn Earth Engine. You may use Earth Engine free of charge for training only, for the duration of the training course. You may charge for your training services, but you cannot charge for use of Earth Engine.


You are an individual developer using Earth Engine for noncommercial purposes.

Example use cases

Research vs operational

Here are some examples, to help you decide if your government work is Research or Operational:

  • Examples of Government Research Activities: Work being done for a specific scientific study, creation of an initial foundational dataset
  • Examples of Government Operational Use: Datasets, apps, services that are maintained on an on-going basis. Activities producing large and/or valuable datasets where the primary goal is to enable operational workloads.
Commercial vs Noncommercial

Here are some examples to help you decide if your use is Noncommercial or Commercial:

  • Examples of Noncommercial Activities: Trainers/developers and organizations who offer training services to Earth Engine users. A PhD student using Earth Engine for their thesis on natural resource management.
  • Examples of Commercial Activities: Monetization of services built on top of Earth Engine. Internal Research & Development (R&D) activities where the primary goal is to develop a commercial product. Activities used to produce sales and/or marketing white papers that are used to promote a certain product, service, technology, or methodology, or to influence current and prospective customers' or investors' decisions.
Commercial Use

If you are not eligible to use Earth Engine free of charge, are a commercial entity or a government agency interested in using Earth Engine for operational purposes, please see Earth Engine for Commercial Use.

If you are a Startup, the Google for Startups Cloud Program provides your funded startup with access to dedicated mentors and industry experts, product and technical support, Cloud cost coverage (up to $100,000) for each of the first two years, and more. Earth Engine is now a covered Cloud product as part of this program. Apply here. If a startup has applied for this program, and were not eligible for it, please reach out here.