Google has recently launched a new service called Dynamic World that offers near real-time land cover data around the world. The tech giant has partnered with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to create this tool. Previously, it was difficult to access detailed, up-to-date land cover data that revealed the areas covered with different land and water types including — wetlands, forests, agricultural crops, trees, urban development and more.
What is Dynamic World
The company claims that Dynamic World offers “global, near real-time land cover data at a ten-meter resolution.” This tool uses AI and cloud computing to classify whether a pixel (which is equivalent to 1,100 square feet of land) of satellite imagery contains water, flooded vegetation, built-up areas, trees, crops, bare ground, grass or ice.
How does it work
Google has mentioned that Dynamic World is using the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite to take images. The company has even confirmed that the tool can produce 5,000 images a day with data as recent as two days old. On the other hand, current global land cover maps can take months to produce and provide land cover data only on a monthly or annual basis. Google claims that this new tool uses the company’s Earth Engine and AI Platform to make data more readily available.
Google Dynamic World availability
Google has promised to make Dynamic World available as an open and free dataset after the evaluated paper has been published in Nature Scientific Data.
How Dynamic World aims to help the environment
Google’s Dynamic World helps in tracking how the planet changes in response to various natural and human activities that include — fires, floods, other “environmental disturbances amplified by climate change,” deforestation and even urban development. Tracking the planet’s response can be crucial for creating solutions.
This information can also help scientists and policymakers to monitor and understand land and ecosystems which will eventually help them to make more accurate predictions and effective plans to protect the planet from future disasters.
Craig Hanson, an executive at WRI, has addressed that the global land squeeze has pressurised the world to find smarter, efficient and more sustainable ways to use land. He even added that if the world wants to produce what is needed from the land, protect the nature that remains and restore some of what has been lost, a trusted near real-time monitoring of every hectare of the planet is essential.