What would be a way to compute moving averages of a time series in GEE? Consider we imported an image collection X and filtered by start and finish dates.

var Y =ee.ImageCollection(X.filterDate(start,finish));

I want to be able to compute moving averages of the time series

1 Answer 1


There are issues with this example (clouds), but it illustrates how to do what you want using joins, map and reduce:

var l5toa = ee.ImageCollection("LANDSAT/LT5_L1T_TOA");
var geometry = ee.Geometry.Point([-120.69580078125, 37.49229399862877]);

var collection = l5toa.filterBounds(geometry);

var join = ee.Join.saveAll({
  matchesKey: 'images'

var timeField = 'system:time_start';

var diffFilter = ee.Filter.maxDifference({
  difference: 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24 * 17,
  leftField: timeField, 
  rightField: timeField

var threeNeighborJoin = join.apply({
  primary: collection, 
  secondary: collection, 
  condition: diffFilter

var smoothed = ee.ImageCollection(threeNeighborJoin.map(function(image) {
  var collection = ee.ImageCollection.fromImages(image.get('images'));
  return ee.Image(image).addBands(collection.mean());

var smooth = ee.Image(smoothed.filterDate('2008-06-01', '2008-07-01').first());
Map.addLayer(smooth, {bands: ['B4', 'B3', 'B2'], max: 0.4}, 'original');
Map.addLayer(smooth, {bands: ['B4_1', 'B3_1', 'B2_1'], max: 0.4}, 'smooth');

More info here and here.

  • Could you explain the meaning of the syntax of var diffFilter and var threeNeighborJoin? I do understand the temporal cadence of L8 is 17 days, so is 'difference' the calculation of consecutive values in milliseconds? Does threeNeigborjoin mean the average of three consecutive values? What if I want to take the rolling average of 5 consecutive values?
    – tg110
    Feb 4, 2020 at 15:03
  • difference is 17 days in milliseconds. threeNeighborJoin is a FeatureCollection in which each image stores a reference (images) to whatever images pass the filter (i.e. is within 17 days). The mean is computed by collection.mean(). For a 5 day filter, use 34 days in the filter. You can discover all that by printing intermediate results. Feb 5, 2020 at 21:48

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