My map layer needs to be updated only when new latest image is added to imageCollection.

I am trying to do the following:

  • Filter out latest image in Collection. -works ok

  • Read image ID. - works ok

  • I am comparing ID I just read with ID from previous cycle. Comparing the id's works... sort of.

  • Next I am trying to create a conditional statement so when ID's are not the same Map is updated. - this part does not work.

I tried to make if() statement with Map.clear(), Map.addLayer() in it. This loop works when condition for if() set locally. When using variable derived from comparing ID's it stop working. I also see on Console that if() statement is processed before ID got from Server and compared.

I try using ee.AlgorithmIf(). In this case both false and true cases got executed every time regardless of condition. I can write there 1 or 0 or true or false - all the same.

My code:

var IndexOLD = "2021310042020500000";

// Region of interest.
var area_of_interest = ee.Geometry.BBox(-121.9, 51, -120.5, 51.89);

// Color palette
var DQFVis = {
  min: 0,
  max: 5,
  palette: [
    'blanchedalmond',  // Good quality fire pixel
    'olive',           // Good quality fire free land
    'teal',            // Opaque cloud
                       // Bad surface type, sunglint, LZA threshold exceeded,
    'darkslateblue',   // off earth, or missing input data
    'lemonchiffon',    // Bad input data
    'burlywood'        // Algorithm failure

//declaring another function to pass 'index' value
function MoreCode(){
// declaring All code below as function
function AllCode(){

// Time of interest. Set small time interval to get small list
var now = ee.Date(Date.now());
var hourBefore = now.advance(-1, 'hour');
var timeinterval = {
start: hourBefore,
end: now,

// Satellite data.
var goes_16_data = ee.ImageCollection('NOAA/GOES/16/FDCF')
.filterDate(timeinterval.start, timeinterval.end)
// get latest record
var goes_16_data_latest = goes_16_data.limit(1,'system:time_start', false);
// select DQF layer for plotting
var dqf = goes_16_data_latest.select('DQF');
//convert to Image to get metadata
var goes_16_latest_image = ee.Image(goes_16_data_latest.first());
// read index
var index = goes_16_latest_image.get('system:index');
print('index', index);
print('IndexOLD returned', IndexOLD);
//IndexBin is binary var, true if index the same as last time
var IndexBin = (ee.Algorithms.IsEqual(index, IndexOLD));
print('IndexBin', IndexBin);

function MapRefresh(){
Map.addLayer(dqf, DQFVis, 'DQF');

//Refresh map when IndexBin = false
ee.Algorithms.If(0, 1/*Map.clear()*/, mapRefresh()); //does not work

return IndexOUT;
} //End of AllCode() finction

IndexOLD = AllCode();
}//End of MoreCode() finction
ui.util.setInterval(MoreCode, 6000);

Indexes compared on line 49, ee.AlgorithmIf() on line 58.

1 Answer 1


The root of your trouble is that ee.Algorithms.If is a server-side process (like every other object class that starts with ee), whereas the Map is client-side. The Map and the ee.Algorithms object can't talk to each other, any client-side processes that are put into ee.Algorithms.If will be executed automatically, regardless of the input boolean. You can see this in action if you run this line of code:

ee.Algorithms.If(0, print('true'), print('false'));

Both 'true' and 'false' should be printed in the console, because printing is a client-side process and therefore it doesn't know about the outcome of the algorithm. If you want to see more, here's a similar question about conditionally adding a layer to the Map.

In order to update a client-side object like the Map, you have to evaluate your if statement on the client side by passing it into the evaluate() function:

IndexBin.evaluate(function (boolean) {
  if (boolean) {
    print('no map update needed')
  } else {
    Map.addLayer(dqf, DQFVis, 'DQF');

Although I'm curious what your application is that you're refreshing the map like this in the first place. It's a little unusual to be constantly updating a purely ui object like this in Earth Engine, and if you share more about your use case, there might be an easier/more efficient way to implement what you have in mind.

  • Thank you kindly for your advice. I used your code example. It works. But I am doing something else wrong. My goal is to compare index I read from image in current cycle with index read from previous cycle. If the value differs I update map, if it is the same – I do not. Index from previous cycle should be written to IndexOLD. I pass value on index to IndexOut, return it to IndexOLD. My assumption was that var IndexOUT = index; return IndexOUT; would be executed at the end of the cycle after the line var IndexBin = (ee.Algorithms.IsEqual(index, IndexOLD)); But it is not.
    – AndreyGle
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:41

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