The EO Data Science team brought together the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) - Google Earth Engine (GEE) programme winning projects for five virtual meetups. The virtual meetups, which took place between the 1 December 2020 and 10 December 2020, enabled projects working on similar themes to exchange knowledge and network with one another.
The projects were grouped by theme into five sessions:
- Disaster management
- Biodiversity and climate change
- Water quality
- Land degradation
- Agriculture and poverty alleviation
Each session included ‘lightning talks’ that corresponded to the session themes and concluded with a panel discussion among all of the lightning talk speakers. A total of 30 projects presented at the meetups and 160 people involved in the programme attended sessions to hear about the positive impact the projects are having as they make their way through their respective development phases.
Sam Atkinson, host of the virtual meetups and General Manager of EO Data Science explained that the benefit of the meetups was to bring together project groups that wouldn’t otherwise have the forum to learn from each other.
“The GEO-GEE programme virtual meetups are a mechanism for globally dispersed projects tackling related challenges to share knowledge and experiences.
“Our aim was to bring these projects together and enable them to network,” he said.
Noel Gorelick, Senior Engineer at Google and co-founder of Google Earth Engine, as well as Douglas Cripe, Senior Scientific Advisor of the GEO Secretariat, were present to speak with the project winners during the meetups.
Attendees at the discussions shared their views on how GEE could present itself as a gamechanger for their own global initiative ideas. Johary A. Andriabeloson, an attendee of the meetups, commented “I am new to using GEE, but from the first two virtual meetings I can see the potential and how it addresses my project needs.”
Each virtual meetup is now publicly available on EO Data Science’s YouTube channel. You can read a short summary on each meetup and watch them via the links below.
In this meetup, we heard from projects using GEE to prevent and monitor the impact of disasters including developing a fire danger warning system, flood monitoring and assessment, as well as monitoring the impact of disasters on land cover.
Biodiversity & Climate Change
This meetup covers projects using GEE to address challenges in biodiversity and climate change. This includes:
- Scaling up of essential biodiversity variables
- Continuous change detection in fire-prone ecosystems
- Collaborative mapping of species distributions
- Monitoring ice shelves
During the panel discussion, Noel Gorelick addresses some of the key challenges GEE users face in their projects.
The projects in this meetup share the common goal of using GEE to ensure good and accessible water quality around the world. These projects address issues around the development of water quality geospatial products and tools, tackling eutrophication and algal bloom, as well as global seagrass mapping.
This meetup covers projects working to prevent land degradation through the development of user-friendly monitoring platforms. These include near real-time monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the development of multi-temporal change detection methods.
Agriculture & Poverty Alleviation
Four of the six projects that presented during this meetup focused on improving agricultural productivity through mapping and monitoring of paddy fields, monitoring urban agricultural intensity and sustainable management of water. The final two projects cover how they’re using GEE and EO data to monitor vulnerability and tackle poverty issues.
What’s next for these projects?
In early 2021, EO Data Science will run a series of advanced GEE courses for all GEO-GEE project groups as part of its mandate to provide technical support, mentoring and capacity development for teams as they continue to tackle global challenges.
We will also be continuing our #GEEImpact blog series to showcase how each individual project is utilising GEE to enact positive change. See all of our #GEEImpact blogs to-date here: https://newsroom.eodatascience.com/tag/geeimpact and follow our recently launched Medium account to stay up to date with our latest blogs: https://medium.com/eodatascience.