Next Article in Journal
Spatial Dimension of Unemployment: Space-Time Analysis Using Real-Time Accessibility in Czechia
Next Article in Special Issue
Introduction to Big Data Computing for Geospatial Applications
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluating the Influence of Urban Morphology on Urban Wind Environment Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation
Previous Article in Special Issue
Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Enable Search of Big Climate Datasets in THREDDS
Communication

Terrain Analysis in Google Earth Engine: A Method Adapted for High-Performance Global-Scale Analysis

1
Department of Soil Science, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Pádua Dias Av., 11, Piracicaba, Postal Box 09, São Paulo Postal Code 13416-900, Brazil
2
State University of Minas Gerais, 700 Colorado Street, Passos, Minas Gerais Code 37902-092, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(6), 400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9060400
Received: 1 May 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 14 June 2020 / Published: 17 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data Computing for Geospatial Applications)
Terrain analysis is an important tool for modeling environmental systems. Aiming to use the cloud-based computing capabilities of Google Earth Engine (GEE), we customized an algorithm for calculating terrain attributes, such as slope, aspect, and curvatures, for different resolution and geographical extents. The calculation method is based on geometry and elevation values estimated within a 3 × 3 spheroidal window, and it does not rely on projected elevation data. Thus, partial derivatives of terrain are calculated considering the great circle distances of reference nodes of the topographic surface. The algorithm was developed using the JavaScript programming interface of the online code editor of GEE and can be loaded as a custom package. The algorithm also provides an additional feature for making the visualization of terrain maps with a dynamic legend scale, which is useful for mapping different extents: from local to global. We compared the consistency of the proposed method with an available but limited terrain analysis tool of GEE, which resulted in a correlation of 0.89 and 0.96 for aspect and slope over a near-global scale, respectively. In addition to this, we compared the slope, aspect, horizontal, and vertical curvature of a reference site (Mount Ararat) to their equivalent attributes estimated on the System for Automated Geospatial Analysis (SAGA), which achieved a correlation between 0.96 and 0.98. The visual correspondence of TAGEE and SAGA confirms its potential for terrain analysis. The proposed algorithm can be useful for making terrain analysis scalable and adapted to customized needs, benefiting from the high-performance interface of GEE. View Full-Text
Keywords: topographic surface; terrain modeling; global terrain dataset topographic surface; terrain modeling; global terrain dataset
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Safanelli, J.L.; Poppiel, R.R.; Ruiz, L.F.C.; Bonfatti, B.R.; Mello, F.A.d.O.; Rizzo, R.; Demattê, J.A.M. Terrain Analysis in Google Earth Engine: A Method Adapted for High-Performance Global-Scale Analysis. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 400. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9060400

AMA Style

Safanelli JL, Poppiel RR, Ruiz LFC, Bonfatti BR, Mello FAdO, Rizzo R, Demattê JAM. Terrain Analysis in Google Earth Engine: A Method Adapted for High-Performance Global-Scale Analysis. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(6):400. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9060400

Chicago/Turabian Style

Safanelli, José L., Raul R. Poppiel, Luis F.C. Ruiz, Benito R. Bonfatti, Fellipe A.d.O. Mello, Rodnei Rizzo, and José A.M. Demattê 2020. "Terrain Analysis in Google Earth Engine: A Method Adapted for High-Performance Global-Scale Analysis" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 6: 400. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9060400

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop