Quick Start Guide

Modified on Fri, 19 May 2023 at 03:22 PM

This article does exactly as the name suggests, it is a guide to help you get started quickly with Earth Blox.

To dig into these topics in more depth, please look at the other articles in our Knowledge Hub.

Table of contents

Welcome to Earth Blox

Earth Blox is a web tool that allows you to analyse spatial data in the cloud. The key things to note are:

  • Most of the data is stored on Google's Earth Engine, so you don't have to store any data locally. 
  • Google's supercomputing resource processes your data and allows large areas or long time series to be processed, not your own computer.
  • You only upload areas of interest and download the final result.  Because it is all done "on the cloud" you don't need a fast computer or a fast internet connection (although your final results will download quicker on a faster connection, and the time it takes for the map outputs to load on your screen).

Finding Your Way Around

  • The Map on the right is where you can engage with spatial data (uploading or displaying). 
  • The Workspace on the left is where you build workflows for your project and implement instructions and queries. 
  • On the far left is the Toolbox.  When you click on one of the three headings in the toolbox it will expand to give you more options. From each of these, you can select individual blocks by clicking on them.
  • The Dashboard tab is behind the map tab.  It shows tabulated or graphical output (if such output has been included in a workflow).

You can read a more detailed welcome guide here.

Step 1: Select or upload an Area of Interest

  • Click the + icon next to Add Area of Interest area from the top-left of the map.
  • You can select either:
    • Draw new area: Draw directly onto the map using the tools at the top of the map.
    • Upload Polygon: Upload a file from your local device.
    • Choose area: select a country boundary from a list, or use your existing assets (if you have uploaded them already).

  • Once you have selected your area, it will appear on the map, colour coded to the list of areas.

Find out more about the map controls here, and  more information about uploading your own polygon here.

Step 2: Build your workflow and set your parameters

  1. Select the data you want to use from the Use this Dataset block in the INPUT>Insert Dataset toolbox. Then select the dataset you want to use either from the dropdown or by using the searching icon.
  2. Select your study area by using the Select Area of Interest block within the INPUT>Pick Areas & Dates section of the toolbox. Drag it into your workflow, and then select your study area.
  3. Select a time period by using the Select Time Period block within the INPUT>Pick Areas & Dates section of the Toolbox. Drag it into your workflow and then choose the time period you want to analyse.
  4. Collate your data into time periods by using the Collate Images in Time block within the INPUT>Collate section of the Toolbox. Drag it into your workflow and choose how you would like to aggregate your data over time.
  5. To perform different types of analysis, you can make use of the blocks found in the ANALYSE toolbox. Select the type of analysis you would like to perform, and add this to your workflow.
  6. Finally, add an output block from within the OUTPUT toolbox. To visualise data on the map select the Add to Map block within OUTPUT>Image Output section of the Toolbox. Drag it into your workflow and then choose how you would like to visualise your data. By selecting the options icon you will be able to adjust how the data appears.
  7. If a red triangle appears, you are not yet ready to run the workflow. Click on the red triangle and a text bubble will appear telling you what you are missing. Follow the guidance in the text bubble.
  8. Your workflow is now complete and ready for running.

To learn how to build a workflow in more detail, you can read our full guide on building a workflow here.

Step 3: Run and analyse on the map or dashboard

  • Run the workflow by clicking on the RUN WORKFLOW button at the bottom-right of the workspace.

  • Earth Blox will now process your workflow, and when it has finished the outputs will become available on the map.

  • If you have included the Add Table block in your workflow, then this data will appear on the dashboard. This data can be downloaded directly to your desktop.

This guide was designed to get you started with Earth Blox quickly. To go into any of the subjects in more detail, please follow the links to the additional articles. Or follow the breadcrumb trail at the top of this page to view all our Knowledge Hub articles.

If you have any additional questions then you can contact our Support Team by choosing the "Submit a ticket" button at the top-right of this page, or by emailing support@earthblox.io

We always track the feedback you give us on these support articles so that 

we can continue to improve how we help you. Please let us know if you found this one helpful.

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