Intro to Satellite image analysis with Google Earth Engine [Online]: 2021-07-06 to 2021-07-08

Map of Devastating 2003 Heat Wave in the Netherlands Observed from MODIS Satellite. Mehdi Aminipouri (PhD Candidate in Geography at SFU)

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
via Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)

All times are Pacific Time Zone (Vancouver, BC, Canada).

What is Google Earth Engine?

Google Earth Engine (not to be confused with Google Earth) allows anyone to access and process satellite imagery quickly and easily. Using a few lines of simple code, you can access images for a region, display a map, look for temporal or spatial trends, export data and statistics, and much more. Previously, remote sensing required downloading huge datasets and high computing power to process the data, but Google Earth Engine takes care of that by storing and processing 50+ years of earth observation data on Google’s servers. 

Topics covered

In this introductory workshop we will use Google Earth Engine Javascript API to make maps using satellite images, perform calculations, and plot results. This workshop will loosely follow the material at Tentative schedule:

Day 1

  • GEE overview
  • Client vs Server operations
  • Accessing and viewing satellite images
  • Band math
  • Image reducers

Day 2

  • Image collections
  • Functions
  • Map functions
  • Collection reducers

Day 3

  • Vectors
  • Cloudmasks
  • Classifying
  • Charting
  • Exporting data


No previous experience with Earth Engine or Javascript is necessary, but some basic programming experience and basic knowledge of remote sensing and/or GIS are highly desirable. Willingness to learn some coding is required. Step-by-step tutorials will be sent via email to participants the week before class.

  1. Register in advance for free GEE account at
  2. Clone class repository into your account (more info in email)
  3. Complete Javascript 101 module prior to first day of class (15 - 30 minutes, more info in email)


Google Earth Engine is run in the cloud, so no software downloads are necessary. Participants only need Google Chrome web browser and a stable internet connection. 


Attendance requirement:

You need to attend ALL THREE days. Different topics are covered each day and it builds on materials covered on the previous day, so if you miss a day, we won't have the resources to help you catch up in this online environment.

Casey Engstrom

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