Google has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about it

Hardware news Google has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about it

Dynamic World is a powerful satellite imagery tool reserved by Google for scientists and professionals. It shows the condition of soils around the world with an accuracy of 10 meters.

If Google Maps is a mapping system that serves all travelers around the world, Dynamic World, on the other hand, has very different goal. This tool is made by the Mountain View company offers a real-time display of land use across the planet.

Designed in collaboration with WRI (World Resources Institute)Dynamic World is based, like Google Maps, on the Google Earth engine. It was added a powerful machine learning technology, AI Platformwho is responsible for cross-checking the information provided daily by a satellite to plan land use on a map with an accuracy of the order of 10 meters.

Beautiful scenery in Europe.

What is Dynamic World for?

on a blog post published on June 9, and named “Ground cover data is now available in real time”Tanya Birch, Senior Program Manager at Google Earth Outreach, explained that the tool fills a specific need: that on the following day the evolution of the earth’s cover. “Our planet is rapidly changing the ways it can be seen even in space”, he said. Whether we are talking about changes due to environmental disturbances or human activity, there is enough change in the scene every day : fires, floods, deforestation, urban development, etc.

“Detailed information about these changes and their impact on people, climate and ecosystems can help governments and researchers come up with useful solutions and reduce their impacts on problems such as climate change. climate, food insecurity and loss of biodiversity »added the engineer.

From August to September 2021, the devastation of California fires was represented by Dynamic World.

Google has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about itGoogle has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about it

And this is where Dynamic World comes in: the processing of information collected by artificial intelligence on this platform makes it possible to update the ground cover map in “almost real time”, and on a global scale.

An astronomical amount of data

While most cartographic solutions are content to assign a type of ground occasion for an area – for example a forest, town, field or even snow – Dynamic World is able to showcase many of these. The teams working on the tool know nine “critical” ground cover types : water, flooded vegetation, established areas, trees, vegetation, vacant land, grass, trees and snow/ice.

“Dynamic World uses AI and cloud computing to detect combinations of different ground cover types and draw conclusions about the likelihood that each of the nine types is present in every pixel of the satellite image”explained Tanya Birch. So the result is surgically accurate.

These two shots from Dynamic World show the evolution of the Taal volcano and its surroundings after its eruption in January 2020, in the Philippines.

Google has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about itGoogle has a different mapping system than Maps, and you don’t know anything about it

To achieve such a level of translation, and above all to ensure daily update, Dynamic World’s artificial intelligence analyzes in detail nearly 5,000 satellite images provided by Copernicus Sentinel-2 each day.. 5,000 photos seems like a lot to melt per day for an AI, but if you know thatone pixel per shot is equivalent to more than 100 m² of ground surface, it still represents a lot of information to be processed. So far, the Google tool has a history going back to June 2015 to “two days ago”.

A powerful tool for decision makers

“With this information, people – such as scientists and policymakers – can monitor and understand the earth and ecosystem so they can make more accurate predictions and effective plans to protect our planet in the future.”said Tanya Birch. We can be confident that such a tool will help to effectively anticipate certain environmental issues.. What is certain, for now, is that the Dynamic World is privileged to witness the changes, sometimes tragic, that are taking place on the surface of the world.

If you want to discover the Dynamic World on your own, it is possible: a site provides access to ultra-accurate real-time land mapping around the world. Have a nice visit!

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