What’s new with the Google Earth Engine Community Catalog

Samapriya Roy
6 min readJan 11

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Samapriya Roy, Erin Dawn Trochim and Valerie Pasquarella

The GEE community catalog made its debut on May 8, 2020, with a commitment to accessibility and collaboration. Our earlier posts (Community Catalog and Community Datasets & Data Commons) provide more information about the motivations behind the project. This round-up aims to share updates and changes and give the community more opportunities to work together. This article summarizes critical facets of what has changed over the last couple of years and introduces you to new features. Visit the catalog here and find, share and sponsor the GitHub project.

Awesome GEE community catalog logo

The Awesome GEE Community Catalog provides various ways to contribute data and datasets, as well as opportunities to explore the catalog’s features and enhance core capabilities. These include contributing to example repositories, ensuring compliance with licenses and proper tagging, and utilizing keyword and tag search capabilities.

Awesome GEE Community Catalog Features and contribution workflows

Getting to a 1000 datasets 🤘️

We are excited to share that the Google Earth Engine Community Catalog now has over 1,000 datasets, with 1,112 currently hosted. This milestone was achieved towards the end of last year, and the catalog continues to grow with contributions of open datasets. As of today, the catalog includes 112 TB of data and billions of features. The community catalog is steadily expanding, and we are thrilled to see so many valuable resources and datasets being shared. We are also at 432 ⭐️ and 76 forks and about 40,000 views per month and growing.

Catalog stats and key features

Datasets Highlights

Over the last year, we have added some impressive ones, including

USA structures

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the U.S. Geological Survey worked together to establish the first comprehensive inventory of all structures larger than 450 square feet. This inventory is intended to support Flood Insurance Mitigation, Emergency Preparedness, and Response efforts. The building outline inventory was created through a partnership between FEMA and DHS Science and Technology, with ORNL leading the charge in extracting building outlines using commercially available satellite imagery. This valuable resource is available for download on this link or can be explored through this link.

USA structures layer

Hydrography 90m Layers

The Hydrography 90 layers utilize the MERIT Hydro digital elevation model, which has a resolution of 3 arc seconds (approximately 90 meters at the equator), to create a seamless and standardized global hydrographic network, known as “Hydrography90m”. This includes topographic and topological information on stream networks. A unique aspect of this network is the use of a minimal upstream contributing area of 0.05 square kilometers (or 5 hectares) as the threshold for identifying a stream channel. This approach allows for the detailed extraction of even the smallest headwater streams. Find additional details in the paper here. The datasets can be downloaded here.

Hydrography 90m layers

MAXAR Open Data Events: Multispectral

High-resolution satellite imagery, both pre and post-event, is provided to assist with emergency planning, risk assessment, monitoring of emergency response and recovery efforts, and damage assessment. These images are generated through the use of the Maxar ARD pipeline and are organized and optimized for cloud usage. As events occur, new data is released, and older data may be updated to the ARD format as necessary. Additional information and available datasets can be found by visiting this link.

MAXAR Open Data Events

Insiders Program

The GEE Community Catalog Insiders program is dedicated to those who support the sustainability of open-source projects and contribute to the growth and curation of the catalog. The program is open to sponsors and data contributors to the project. If you fall under any of these categories, please fill out this form to gain Insider access. By signing up for the Insiders program, you will gain access to the following benefits:

  • Joining a Google Group called “catalog-contributors,” which grants you early access to specific datasets as they are being processed, reviewed, and released.
  • Receive periodic changelog and update emails.
  • Opportunities to post questions, concerns, and thoughts on the Google group

Your support for the project is highly appreciated, and you can show your support by sponsoring the project or contributing to data curation for the catalog. The Insiders program has just added two new datasets as part of its offerings starting this new year.

All datasets that are part of the insiders’ program are released within a month to the general catalog, along with the monthly release cycle for the catalog.

Canada High-Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM)

The High-Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM) is a product created from a combination of airborne LiDAR data and satellite imagery, with a focus on LiDAR data primarily in the southern regions and satellite imagery in the northern regions. The coverage of the Canadian territory is being gradually expanded. The HRDEM includes a Digital Terrain Model (DTM), a Digital Surface Model (DSM), and other derived data. Derived data for the DTM datasets include slope, aspect, shaded relief, color relief, and color-shaded relief maps. For the DSM datasets, derived data include shaded relief, color relief, and color-shaded relief maps.

Canada High Resolution DEM (HRDEM)

Microsoft Bing Global Mined Roads

Bing Maps is unveiling a global collection of mined roads. Through our detection methods, we have identified a total of 47.8 million kilometers of roads, with an additional 1165 thousand kilometers of roads that were previously missing from OpenStreetMap (OSM). Our mining process utilizes Bing Maps imagery collected between 2020 and 2022, including imagery from Maxar and Airbus. The datasets were provided in TSV formats, and we have also applied additional steps to convert them into a format that is compatible with Google Earth Engine (GEE).

Microsoft Bing Global Mined Roads

We have put a lot of effort and care into creating this community catalog, and we plan to keep expanding and enhancing it. Our Insiders program and upcoming datasets will continue to evolve with the help of user input and enhancements to make them more automated and accessible. Please help spread the word about the catalog and consider supporting it by sharing your own datasets or contributing to the ones that are already available. Here’s to an amazing 2023 and working together to build a stronger community resource.

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Samapriya Roy

Remote sensing applications, large scale data processing and management, API applications along with network analysis and geostatistical methods

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