Google Earth Engine is a computing platform that allows users to run geospatial analysis on Google’s infrastructure. There are several ways to interact with the platform:
This website is focused on the last one, you can use the R client library to send/receive messages to/from the Earth Engine server and develop web applications.
Perform highly-interactive algorithm development at global scale
Push the edge of the envelope for big data in remote sensing
Enable high-impact, data-driven science
Make substantive progress on global challenges that involve large geospatial datasets
The main components of Earth Engine are:
Datasets: A petabyte-scale archive of publicly available remotely sensed imagery and other data. Explore the data catalog.
Compute power: Google’s computational infrastructure optimized for parallel processing of geospatial data.
WEB REST API/Client libraries: For making requests to the Earth Engine servers.
Users must considerate that the Earth Engine API and advanced Earth Engine functionality are experimental and subject to change. Access is limited and requires requesting access via the form. See Earth Engine official website to obtain more information.
A short comparison based on Tyler Erickson presentation.