Advanced cloud computing for water professionals in Myanmar using Google Earth Engine


From 4 To 15 November, a training was organized at Yangon Technological University by Dutch companies HKV and FutureWater on the use of satellite-derived data for water management in Myanmar. The 8-day training was organized under the framework of the Orange Knowledge Tailor-Made Training (TMT) Program, funded by NUFFIC, the Dutch organization for internationalization in education.

The training in November built on the skills obtained during the first course organized in March 2018 and will be followed by a third (final) course in December 2019, all taking place at Yangon Technological University. This training in November focused on three themes:

1.River morphology,

2.Integrated Water Resources Management and

3.Landcover classification.

These topics were identified as highly relevant in the local context by the participants during the first training. Participants gained further hands-on experience with Google Earth Engine, and were encouraged to analyse how these tools can be beneficially utilized in their own organization.

The trainers from Dutch consultant companies, HKV Consultants and FutureWater, developed hands-on training combed with their knowledge and expertise of the relevant field. Participants were from different backgrounds, including policy makers, researchers and the private sector. It was evident that water resources management can be improved with the support of remote sensing data and an advanced skillset of processing and analyzing in Myanmar.

This tutorial described the training exercises step-by-step. An overview of development of skills in this course:

  • Learn JavaScript and Earth Engine syntax.
  • Learn how to process data from the public data catalog till the end to export them to hard drive.
  • Learn how to write own functions and map these over image collections.
  • Gain in-depth knowledge on river morphology, Integrated Water Resources Management and landcover classification.

Google Earth Engine

Google Earth Engine is a cloud-computing platform for processing satellite imagery and other geospatial and observation data. It provides access to a large database of satellite imagery and the computational power needed to analyze those images. The data from Google Earth is allowed various user groups, such as researchers and water professionals, to collaborate using data, algorithms, and visualizations. The application of Google Earth Engine has increased rapidly over the past few years, in a wide range of sectors such as research, government and private sector as well as in many different fields of application (water management, agriculture, nature conservation, etc.).

"It is an advance application so that a little difficulty is to understand how it works and the writing procedures of the codes," one of the participants shared her concerns towards this application. "However, it is useful to know the erosion histories and morphology changes of Myanmar Rivers and we can do some measures for them," she shared her learning points while applying GEE in the field of river morphology.

Next Step of this training

On final day of the training, the trainers helped the participants to do individual assignments based on their preference and knowledge using these practical tools. To come up with the idea, the trainers and communications team from the Myanmar Water Portal, supported how to generate the idea that can be finished in a short period of time. We narrowed down their broad ideas to become a specific topic and why they would like to do this assignment and how they are going to approach it by using these tools.

The participants' individual assignments will be presented on the stage during the symposium in the second week of December, taking place at YTU.

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Training Google Earth Engine Myanmar. This the page for the training Google Earth Engine Myanmar
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Myanmar Water Journal - November 2019


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