Last week Google unveiled a new tool dubbed Google Earth Engine that serves as part of Google Earth Project. This tool is designed by the Internet giant in collaboration with NASA in order to track environmental changes on the basis of a huge amount of satellite imagery and data recorded in the past versus the latest data received. The project was unveiled during the climate talks in Cancun on December 02.
Image courtesy: www.blog.google.org
The presented technology allows to track deforestation,changes in forest and water resources and map land use trends. This can done using the satellite data recorded over the past 25 years. However, analyzing them all in order to perform the above-mentioned tasks could take ages. Luckily, Google provides its computing infrastructure consisting of thousands of computers that can perform the same task in much shorter time. Google announced it would provide 10 million free CPU-hours to the governments and scientists of the developing nations to use the new tool and analyse environmental changes in their region.
“We hope that Google Earth Engine will be an important tool to help institutions around the world manage forests more wisely. As we fully develop the platform, we hope more scientists will use new Earth Engine API to integrate their applications online—for deforestation, disease mitigation, disaster response, water resource mapping and other beneficial uses… We look forward to seeing what’s possible when scientists, governments, NGO’s, universities, and others gain access to data and computing resources to collaborate online to help protect the earth’s environment“, – project developers say on official Google blog.