Google’s latest mapping tool takes the power of Google Maps and brings near real-time data on the world’s water, vegetation, snow, and human development.
Called Dynamic World, the tool can help understand the effects of environmental disturbances, flooding, wildfires, deforestation and urban development, the company said in a blog post Thursday.
“Global land compression is pushing us to find smarter, more efficient and more sustainable ways to use land,” said Craig Hanson, vice president of food, forestry, water and ocean at World Resources Institute, in the blog post. we need reliable, near real-time monitoring of every hectare on the planet.
Google declined to comment for this story.
Current land cover maps can take time to produce and can only be updated monthly or annually, according to Google. Using AI and images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite, it can analyze 5,000 images per day showing data as recent as two days. It can also pull data as early as June 2015. Google says Dynamic World can help researchers create unique and specific maps, such as analyzing harvests between particular dates.
The project was carried out in collaboration with the World Resources Institute and is powered by Google Earth Engine and the AI platform. It provides global data at 10 meter resolution. This means that dynamic world can not only show concrete in a built-up city, but also small parks nestled between buildings. Google says this kind of near real-time data can give scientists and policymakers a better understanding of climate and land changes to “make more accurate predictions and effective plans to protect our planet in the future.”