When I create a feature with a property that has a null-value, that property disappears when adding the feature to a feature-collection. Why does this happen and how to prevent this?

An example (https://code.earthengine.google.com/5dd388c75939997f4d50d0e6628e1c22):

var dict1 = ee.Dictionary({'prop1': null, 'prop2': 400})


var ft1 = ee.Feature(null, dict1)


var ftc1 = ee.FeatureCollection(ft1)


"dict1" has two items, one of the values is "null". Creating a feature with this dictionary gives a feature "ft1", that has two properties. When adding "ft1" to a feature-collection, the property that has a null-value disappears from the feature.

1 Answer 1


I got an answer by Noel Gorelick in the GEE Developers Group:

There's no difference to the system between a property with a null value and not having the property at all. In fact, the method for removing properties from a feature is to set them to null. If you want to have a property with some NODATA value, use something other than null.

  • So, why it happens: it's the method to remove properties from a feature.

  • How to prevent it: Set the null-value to some other value.

An example on how to do that:

var dict1 = ee.Dictionary({'prop1': null, 'prop2': 400});


// Set null values to -9999, works without explicitly specifying the property names.
var set_ndv = function(key, val){
  return ee.List([val, -9999]).reduce(ee.Reducer.firstNonNull());

var dict2 = dict1.map(set_ndv);


// Set null values to -9999, need to specify property names.
// var dict2 = dict1.combine(ee.Dictionary({'prop1': -9999, 'prop2': -9999}), false)
// print(dict2)

var ft1 = ee.Feature(null, dict2);


var ftc1 = ee.FeatureCollection(ft1);


This question is also related to this one: Creating a time-series from an image-collection in GEE including null-values in case all pixels are masked

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.