I have ground-truthing data of centroids for 23 sites and their surrounding land uses, but no money to purchase remotely sensed images of this remote region of Latina America. I would use the polygon tool option from Google Earth Pro to trace the land uses (buffer 100m, 200m, 500m from centroid) and copy the estimated area and perimeter given by the Google Pro polygon tool. I have searched extensively for free images for three years and have not been able to find any. Would this infringe Google terms of use? These data will be used in a thesis.

  • There is a qgis tag on this post. How is this related? – juturna May 1 '15 at 17:29
  • There are some other issues with using Google resources for such measurements, aside from the terms of service. Have you tried reaching out to resources within your university to track down sources? A geography/GIS department or others might have connections or know of educational use restricted sources for data. Digital Globe for example offer what are known as Imagery Grants that might be an option. – Chris W May 1 '15 at 21:03

As I understand it, according to the Google Maps/Earth Additional Terms of Service you cant't as this would be considered "derivative works of the Content".

"Unless you have received prior written authorization from Google (or, as applicable, from the provider of particular Content), you must not: (a) copy, translate, modify, or make derivative works of the Content or any part thereof"

I actually decided to obtain a written permission for a project years ago and did receive a response. The response in my case was NO but they did reply. Because in your case you will be using the content for educational purposes there may an exception.

However, you may include maps and imagery in reports that was exported from Google Earth application (not sure if this excludes commercial use) but these images have to attributed correctly.

Suppose you use only tools available in Google Earth Pro API to delineate these areas and show the results within the Google Earth framework without altering or modifying the exported image I think this should be acceptable especially if you word the language summarizing the data obtained in this fashion correctly.

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