At the International Climate Change Conference in sunny Cancun, Mexico, Google launched a Google Labs product called "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.
"The platform will enable scientists to use Google's extensive computing infrastructure -- the Google "cloud" -- to analyze this imagery."
"GEE can be used for a wide range of apps -- from mapping water resources to ecosystem services to deforestation. It's part of our broader effort at Google to build a more sustainable future," Google said.
Google also announced that it's "donating 10 million CPU-hours a year over next two years on the GEE 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, GEE will provide critical access to terabytes of data, a growing set of analytical tools and our high-performance processing capabilities"
In collaboration with Matt Hansen and CONAFOR, Mexico's National Forestry Commission, Google produced a forest cover and water map of Mexico, which required 15K hrs of computation, but was completed in less than a day on GEE, using 1,000 PCs over > 53K Landsat scenes (1984-2010).
More Info: Google Earth Engine