Find Public GIS Data with Google’s Earth Engine Catalog

Caitlin Dempsey


Google’s Earth Engine platform has provided thousands of scientists with access to remote sensing data and complex spatial analysis. As the platform becomes more popular, access to datasets created by its users is also increasing.

The Earth Engine Data Catalog lets users search and discover Earth observation public datasets. The collection includes standard Earth science raster datasets as well as derivative products. Dataset representation includes climate and weather data, digital elevation models and other terrain data, land cover, cropland, and satellite imagery.

Each dataset in the catalog on the overview page has a thumbnail visualizing the dataset as well as tags that users can click on filter out similarly tagged datasets by country or topic.

The menu bar at the top of the catalog also lets users browse datasets by tags or see satellite data collections from Landsat, MODIS, and Sentinel satellites.

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Visit: Earth Engine Data Catalog

Google's Earth Engine Data Catalog lets users discover public geospatial datasets.
Google’s Earth Engine Data Catalog lets users discover public geospatial datasets.

Awesome GEE Community Catalog

A community-based effort to make public Google Earth Engine datasets discoverable is the Awesome GEE Community Catalog. The catalog is a community-driven effort to compile and share a comprehensive catalog of public datasets for remote sensing and geospatial analysis.

As the founders of the project explain,  “The project was started with the idea that a lot of research datasets are often unavailable for direct use and require preprocessing before use. This catalog lives and serves alongside the Google Earth Engine data catalog and also houses datasets that are often requested by the community and under a variety of open license.”

New projects are regularly added to the catalog. To see the list of available datasets organized by category visit: Awesome GEE Community Catalog. Other Google Earth Engine lists include: Google Earth Engine Community Pages and Awesome Google Earth Engine lists.

This article was first published on October 20, 2020 and has since been updated.


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.