NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis

NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis.

NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis

By Brian Sullivan, Sr. Program Manager, Google Earth Engine.

The Ganges River bisects two districts of the Rajaji National Park, alongside densely populated neighborhoods of Haridwar, India. June 2021. PlanetScope.

From its inception over 10 years ago. Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. This week. In partnership with Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT). And Planet. We are proud to have launched new imagery that enables the Earth Engine community to tackle these challenges.

NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis

In September 2020, Norway’s Ministry of Climate. And Environment announced ~$43M of high-resolution tropical satellite monitoring to aid efforts in halting the destruction of the world’s rainforests. The cost of commercial satellite imagery has long prohibited many from employing it in their work. Expanding access to high resolution imagery enables greater use by academics, nonprofits, Indigenous communities, governments and forest managers. Journalists. And the private sector. The Planet Basemaps from the NICFI Tropical Forest program are now available in Google Earth Engine for analysis and monitoring related to forest conservation and restoration, climate change. Biodiversity, sustainable development. And more. (Learn how to get access.)

Google Earth Engine’s three interconnected pillars are perfectly aligned to enhance the opportunities provided with the NICFI Tropical Forest program.

Pillar 1: Data Catalog.


By adding NICFI Planet Basemaps to Google Earth Engine’s public data catalog of 700+ curated geospatial datasets, it provides unprecedented, high resolution (4.77m), deep time series (Dec 2015 to Aug 2020 biannual. Sept 2020 onward monthly). 4-band (RGB+NIR), coverage of 94 countries across the global tropics. No other corpus of broadly licensed, commercial. Analysis-ready imagery of this scope or scale exists today.

NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis

Pantropical coverage of NICFI program

Pillar 2: Geospatial Computation Platform.


Given the size of the data involved. About one petabyte. It is crucial to bring storage and processing together in one platform to enable global scale. Deep time series analysis. Similarly, as imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications. And object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Visual access to Planet’s tropical Basemaps have already begun to enable new forms of forestry verification and monitoring. But the next level of impacts will come from enabling new insights through analysis and new machine learning approaches.

Pillar 3: Collaborative Ecosystem.


Earth Engine’s roots began in academic forestry research, producing first of their kind public datasets like Global Forest Change. Funding from NICFI and others allowed nonprofits like World Resources Institute (WRI) to create policy and programmatic efforts like Global Forest Watch. Which in turn enabled journalists to share these insights with the world in a clear, actionable fashion. The ecosystem continued to grow as government and UN agencies furthered forestry research and developed operational workflows. And capacity building powered by Earth Engine. Now, new partnerships and engagements from the private sector are expanding the Earth Engine ecosystem as they look to build deforestation free supply chains, utilizing the power of markets to create a sustainable future.

The NICFI Tropical Forest program launch in Earth Engine brings a new class of global imagery under a purpose-driven license, combined with the latest satellite cloud computing and machine learning analysis platform. In an ever-evolving ecosystem of researchers. Nonprofits, journalists, and the private sector. Google is proud to continue to play a role in advancing partnerships and programs to enable insights and outcomes that reduce and reverse tropical forest loss.

Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT. Planet, and Google and learn how partners like United Nations Food & Agriculture are already using the data in Earth Engine.

NICFI’s satellite imagery of the global tropics now available in Earth Engine for analysis

Register for access at Planet’s NICFI page:

that also contains a program overview, FAQs, and terms of use. Planet also maintains a Developer Resource Center for Earth Enginehttps://earthtopomaps.com/after-school-this-teen-tracks-climate-change/
https://earthtopomaps.com/after-school-this-teen-tracks-climate-change/

Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly, as imagery resolution increases. So do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT, Planet.

From its inception over 10 years ago, Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly. As imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT.

Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly. As imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT.

Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly. As imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT.

Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly, as imagery resolution increases. So do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT, Planet.

From its inception over 10 years ago, Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly. As imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT.

Google Earth Engine’s mission has been to create a global-scale platform for Earth science data and analysis to further address the most pressing environmental and societal issues we face. Similarly. As imagery resolution increases, so do the opportunities for finer granularity classifications and object detection, but traditional pixel based methodologies fall short and new machine learning techniques are needed. Watch the launch announcement during the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) with KSAT.

What is Table Mountain made of?

What is Table Mountain made of?

What is Table Mountain made of?

It may seem like a silly question, with an obvious answer: rock, right? [written October 16, 2015]

What-is-Table-Mountain
A Landsat image of Cape Town topography and the surrounding area, courtesy of NASA

B)What is Table Mountain made of?

But dig a little deeper (sometimes literally), and you’ll find that there’s much more to Table Mountain than meets the eye.

For as long as humans have occupied this part of the world — since approximately 15 000 years ago — Table Mountain has been a constant and steady presence. Myths and legends have been told about the place, and even today it is seen as an important spiritual landmark.

There’s something comforting in the permanence of a mountain. While the world around us changes constantly, we seek solace in its familiar outlines and features. Table Mountain’s unusual flatness has also made it iconic around the world.

But humans have only been present on the planet for a mere fraction of its history. Geological time spans way, way back into the past, and the further you look, the less familiar Table Mountain becomes.

Basic ingredients

Hundreds of millions of years ago, this corner of the continent was unrecognisable. Rivers ran into the ocean, depositing silt and mud from further inland. Tectonic shifts also caused the continents to collide, compressing the mud and silt into a fine-grained sedimentary rock called shale. Today, this layer is known as the Malmesbury Group.

About 540-million years ago, magma flowed upwards from deep within the Earth’s core and pushed up into the tiny cracks within this layer of shale. When magma cools, it becomes granite, and this mix of rock types can be seen today along the Sea Point coastline.

What-is-Table-Mountain
Magma intruding up into a layer of folding Malmesbury rocks, courtesy of John Compton

Further tectonic shifts, ice ages, rising and falling sea levels and all manner of climate changes eventually flattened out the surface of the rock. That allowed layers of sand to settle on top of it.

As sand gets compacted by continents crashing into each other, it eventually hardens and becomes sandstone. More and more layers of sandstone built up over time on top of the shale granite layer. We call this layer the Table Mountain Group.

What-is-Table-Mountain
Two kinds of sandstone that are part of Table Mountain Group can be clearly seen from Ou Kaapse Weg. Photo courtesy of Oggmus

The only way is up

All these continents bashing around also affected the landscape above them. At the pressure points, rocks were forced upwards, rising above sea level and sometimes, much further. This resulted in folded mountains, the kind you see here at the Cape (as well as the Atlas Mountains in North Africa).

It also provided the lift needed to create Table Mountain. The whole area was thrust skywards (over millions of years, of course).

Now exposed to wind, rain and ice, the sandstone on top was eventually eroded, exposing the land surface we see today, and creating the unmistakable flat-topped mountain that locals and visitors know and love.

Geologists believe that Table Mountain was once the bottom of a very wide delta. It’s incredible to think that the highest point in Cape Town was once the lowest!

What-is-Table-Mountain
Erosion of the Cape Fold Mountains may have resulted in the flat top of Table Mountain we see today. Image courtesy of Fred the Oyster

Do your own rock-spotting

Looking up at Table Mountain is like travelling back in time! See if you can spot the various layers of rock that make up the mountain:

What-is-Table-Mountain
The three main layers that make up Table Mountain can be clearly seen from the City Bowl. Can you spot the different layers? Image courtesy of UCT’S Department of Geological Sciences

D)So yes, the short answer to the question is that Table Mountain is made of rocks. But the story of how it came to be reveals incredible changes to the landscape around it, over time periods we can barely fathom.

It’s fair to say that Table Mountain rocks.

(Thanks to Prof Chris Harris at UCT’s Department of Geological Sciences for assisting with the science. Visit their website for further info on Cape Town’s geology)

Originally published at www.tablemountain.net

https://earthtopomaps.com/packaging-content-in-a-kmz-and-kml-file/

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