Combining a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets with planetary-scale analysis capabilities, Google Earth Engine enables scientists, researchers and developers to detect changes, map trends and quantify differences on the Earth's surface.  

With our vast experience in geospatial data and solutions and tenured success as a Google Premier Partner, Woolpert helps clients get started and maximize the use of Google Earth Engine. Currently, we are the only authorized partner to consult on and resell Google Earth Engine to clients in Europe. 

What sets Google Earth Engine apart from other raster analysis tools? 

Distributed processing of user code without hands-on instruction. Using several simple programming constructs/concepts, users can scale their processing immediately based on computation complexities or geographic areas

Easy methods for collaboration with colleagues, including the web-based Javascript IDE and Python-based Colab notebooks (both compatible with source code control). Data analysts and scientists can focus on algorithm implementation and science rather than configuring runtime environments and software versions. Combined with the intuitive nature of notebooks, this collaboration supports the prototyping of new solutions before automated/pipeline use in non-notebook production environments. 

Options to compute large amounts of data, including aerial and satellite imagery data collected privately or not available on the public cloud. Two aspects of this are key: 

  • Unlimited Geotiffs can be stored in cloud buckets for county, state and regional projects then merged logically within Google Earth Engine for analysis. 
  • Raster functions within Google Earth Engine only initiate computation when needed. For example, only the viewable map area is calculated/rendered when using online Javascript IDE. This feature is useful for rapid prototyping prior to the export of final results. 

Use Cases

Climate Change Adaptation

  • Google Earth Engine can be used to model and understand the geographic vulnerability of states to climate change. The ability to visualize and communicate these results with stakeholders is as important as the modeling itself. 
  • The research and production of fundamental reference datasets such as land use and land cover can be accelerated with Google Earth Engine. Its automated nature supports the loading of imagery and lidar (with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution) into algorithms on a regular cadence. 
  • Remotely sensed data can be augmented with in-situ measurements, unattended sensors and surveyor-based spatial data collection, all of which can be loaded into Google Earth Engine for analysis. Woolpert’s experienced survey teams support the entire life cycle. 

Natural Hazard Response 

  • Although raster processing is often associated with imagery, terrain data can also be stored and analyzed in Google Earth Engine. Terrain datasets, such as those created from lidar or photogrammetrically derived point clouds, are included in the public Earth Engine data catalog and can be loaded from privately collected sources. For example, these datasets can be created from lidar (distance) or photogrammetrically-derived point clouds. The intensity returns from lidar can also be represented as rasters with their own uses, such as vegetation classification, water/land boundary delineation and material classification. 
  • The use of synthetic aperture radar data is becoming more mainstream, and the amplitude raster representation (“image”) from these sensors can be analyzed in Google Earth Engine. SAR data from Sentinel-1 is included in the Earth Engine data catalog, and other resolution providers such as Capella Space can collect and load commercial SAR data into GEE assets. SAR is useful for identifying water, especially when a location is cloudy (common during or after a flood). 
  • Google Earth Engine complements its raster capabilities with vector datasets. Points and polygons representing locations can be loaded in near-real time for use in conjunction with image analysis. 
  • The results of analysis can be shared with others, even those without Earth Engine accounts, enabling first responders, analysts and other stakeholders to access the data.  Analysts can easily publish interactive apps that require only a web browser for use.

Crop Monitoring and Taxation 

  •  State and local governments can use aerial and satellite imagery with Google Earth Engine to create baselines of urban and rural land use to detect development. Aerial imagery and lidar provide the spatial resolution and accuracy needed to anchor and contextualize subsequent satellite collections and Google Earth Engine integrates all the imagery within a common interface for analysis. 
  • In Google Earth Engine, a time series of satellite imagery can display change over a specified period. Crop type, area and other properties can be calculated during the growing season without waiting for a single aerial collection at the end of the growing season. Archived aerial and satellite imagery from previous years can be used to provide comparisons.   
  • Local governments can use Google Earth Engine to classify agricultural fields and subfields by crop type, reduce the need for in-person inspection, rapidly verify tax relief applications and provide additional insights about land development or related trends. 

    Woolpert Services

    Consulting 

    • Woolpert’s experts can help you integrate Google Earth Engine into your existing workflows, including those incorporating Esri software. You can view the results of Google Earth Engine in ArcGIS Pro or use the results for further analysis. 
    • For customers wanting to use Google Earth Engine in-house, Woolpert can orient new users to Google Earth Engine’s functions and capabilities through workshops and virtual coaching 
    • If you currently use a cloud vendor other than Google but are interested in using Google Earth Engine, we can help you leverage both to meet your existing infrastructure plans while also opening up the potential of Google Earth Engine.  

    Professional Services 

    • Woolpert develops complete, cloud-based processing pipelines built around Google Earth Engine for customers looking to perform substantial, regular and automated raster processing of any geographic (or spectral) size. With eight years of experience implementing Google Cloud solutions, our team is now using Google Earth Engine expertise to provide end-to-end solutions. 
    • Our team can augment the efforts of your own scientists and analysts by writing functions that wrap or combine lower-level Google Earth Engine functionalities or accelerating algorithm development efforts as temporary team members. 
    • Data preparation and storage are key to using Google Earth Engine, and Woolpert can help with tasks including extract, transform and load (ETL), navigating user privileges in Google Cloud Platform and making key storage decisions specific to Google Earth Engine assets.  
    • We provide front-end app development.  

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