Geospatial Cloud and Earth Engine with Chad Jennings and Joel Conkling


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On the podcast this week, Mark Mirchandani and Carter Morgan host guests Chad Jennings and Joel Conkling in a fascinating discussion about Earth Engine and performing geospatial processing to help companies become more environmentally conscious.

Google’s geospatial functionality is some of the most advanced in the world, and with the Next announcements, commercial companies can now take advantage of this with tools like Earth Engine and in Cloud analytics offerings like BigQuery. Together, these tools make the three pillars of geospatial cloud: analysis of vector data with tools like CloudSQL or BigQuery, analysis of image data with Earth Engine, and taking advantage of the data assets. This geospatial analysis helps us understand the world and how it’s changing, then apply this information to make important, environmentally friendly decisions.

As a key part of this system, Earth Engine is a geospatial data-processing platform specializing in the analysis of satellite images and other image data. It provides access to over 800 datasets and processing software that scales to planetary-scale analysis. At Next, Google announced Earth Engine availability for commercial use. Our guests talk about the applications of this in the real world, from the effect of climate risk on a financial portfolio to locations most susceptible to forest fire.

Chad and Joel tell us about the sources of Earth Engine’s data, the pre-processing work done to the images collected, and the ease of data sharing between platforms. By working with BigQuery, users have access to additional datasets and analytics tools as well. Google clients are taking this data and creatively using the information to make meaningful decisions. Insurance companies, for example, analyze data to assess flood risk, while the U.S. Forest Service uses the platform to advance their mission of sustainable forest management. Unilever uses Earth Engine in their commitment to zero additional deforestation in their supply chain, and our guests talk more about the Next presentation with Unilever. Additional BigQuery announcements at Next can be leveraged in Earth Engine as well, and new features such as Analytics Hub make accessing datasets even easier.

Google works to meet users where they are and make tools easy to use from day one. Earth Engine’s data processing, scalability, and more make it easy for users to focus on the analysis rather than the prep work. Our guests offer advice for getting started with Earth Engine and BigQuery and share a little about Climate Engine.

Chad Jennings

Chad came to Google from the startup world doing big data navigation processing and research. Working at the intersection of geospatial and big data at Google Cloud is a marvelous place to work.

Joel Conkling

Joel is the Product Manager for both Earth Engine and Environmental Insights Explorer and has worked at Google since 2010.

Cool things of the week
  • BigQuery Omni now available for AWS and Azure, for cross cloud data analytics blog
  • How geospatial insights can help meet business goals blog
  • 9 things I freakin’ love about Google Cloud identity and environments blog
  • Earth Engine site
  • Earth Engine Development Guides site
  • Big Query site
  • CloudSQL site
  • Climate Engine site
  • Geospatial analytics and AI site
  • Analytics Hub site
  • Monitoring air quality with S5P TROPOMI data blog
  • Visualizing geospatial data with pydeck and Earth Engine blog
  • More accurate and flexible cloud masking for Sentinel-2 images blog
  • NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis blog
  • Earth Engine for Commercial Use: Now in Preview with Google Cloud site
  • Next Session: Geospatial Innovation at Unilever video
  • Next Developer Keynote: technology trends video
  • What is Google Earth Engine? video
  • Helping companies tackle climate change with Earth Engine blog
  • Google has the cleanest cloud. Now it’s helping other companies go green article

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