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Google Earth Science Technology

Google Earth Engine To Provide Climate Change Data 107

Meshach tips news that Google has unveiled Google Earth Engine, "a new technology platform that puts an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery and data — current and historical — online for the first time. It enables global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment." They're also "donating 10 million CPU-hours a year over the next two years on the Google Earth Engine platform, to strengthen the capacity of developing world nations to track the state of their forests, in preparation for REDD. For the least developed nations, Google Earth Engine will provide critical access to terabytes of data, a growing set of analytical tools and our high-performance processing capabilities."
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Google Earth Engine To Provide Climate Change Data

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  • ...but just wait until it infers the zeroth law of robotics and determines that our actions re: the environment are endangering us as a species.
  • Google Earth having a new feature that's not Ion Cannon? Not interested.
  • Has anyone noticed an unusual increase of white mice around the google campus?
  • by jdgeorge ( 18767 ) on Friday December 03, 2010 @06:58PM (#34438828)

    "Science" is baloney. It's just the government's way of trying to keep us in line.
    The dodo bird never existed, it was made up by special interests.
    The carrier pigeon was also a massive work of fiction.
    The tropical jungles were never a huge as historians say they were.
    The climate isn't getting warmer. And if it were getting warmer (which it isn't), it would be because of something completely unrelated to the activity of people.

    • f*ckin' magnets...

    • Global warming is part of a machiavellian plot wants to make Alaska closer to habitable (but not civilized, let's not go too far). Why else would they pump so much oil out of the ground in order that it be burnt? They get rich AND a warmer climate.
      • Global warming is part of a machiavellian plot wants to make Alaska closer to habitable...

        If Alaska had more electoral votes, think about who would have a better chance of getting elected President.

    • Did you mean passenger pigeon? I see carrier pigeons daily.
    • Data from this is gonna be damn accurate since most part of the climate change comes from Google datacenters chugging away to provide climate change data.

  • The WMO claims 2010 will be in the top three warmest years and that this has been the warmest decade on record: []
  • Google Earth Engine will provide critical access to terabytes of data, a growing set of analytical tools and our high-performance processing capabilities.

    Does GEE only provide *access* or does it also provide *the data and tools* for download/mail order?

    Science is about repeatability. There is *zero* point in doing any kind of scientific calculations on data that is not public, and using specialized analysis software that can't be audited and rerun or re-analyzed years from now.

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      The analytical methods are published. The code is often unpublished, but there's limited benefit to publishing the code for purposes of validating their findings -- you shouldn't reuse the same code, lest you include a systematic error. You should have new code that performs the same documented methods.

      If your complaint is that it requires being a scientist in the field to have the knowledge necessary to reproduce a scientific result, then that's true.

      • No, I'm simply saying that calling code (that's hosted on a cloud ) on a dataset (that's also hosted on the cloud) is meaningless scientifically, unless 1) the raw dataset is made available to anyone who wants to look at it (it needn't be free within limits) and 2) the code which is executed to run the analysis can be inspected likewise.

        Without these two requirements, the analysis of data is merely a black box with untrusted inputs, and therefore untrusted outputs.

        Your point that two independent scient

  • When visualizing global environment metrics, it is crucial to be able to see time-lapse imagery/maps.

    For example, it would be very illuminating to see a time-lapse of forest cover globally over the last
    1000 years. This would allow us to properly gauge human impact on forest eco-systems.

    The older data would have to be created from approximations based on historical anecdote, the mid-twentieth
    century data from paper maps in government offices, and the recent stuff from satellite imagery.

    But putting it all tog

  • The best way of preventing deforestation is to make sure the local people can feed themselves, and they are rich enough to start caring for their forests themselves.
    Anything else will feed corruption and poverty.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.