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Google Earth Engine introduced (relatively) recently the concept of "Cloud project", see Cloud Projects and Set up EE Cloud Project. Based on the scarce documentation available, I am struggling to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this "projects" feature. For now my understanding is that:

Benefits:

  • One can now automatically share assets with members registered in the project

Drawbacks/unchanged:

  • Asset quota is unchanged, still at 250 GB
  • One needs now to pay for computations (computations requested via the EE API will be made with compute quota), although there is no information on which computations are costly.
  • One needs now to pay for asset storage (wrong, costs are only to upload data to cloud storage itself)

Seen this way, the "project" feature does not seem very attractive. But is this a fair representation of the "project" feature, or am I missing some important aspects?

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This is not a fair representation of the project feature. I'll reproduce the original announcement for reference:

We are pleased to announce that you can now use Earth Engine with Google Cloud projects! What this means is that it's now easy to set up a collaborative workspace where you control permission to read and write assets from a central asset storage location (learn more). You can use your own Google Cloud projects to track your Earth Engine requests, assets and permissions. You can also track the success rate of requests you are sending to the Earth Engine service, to help with debugging and optimization of your Earth Engine powered workflows.

All this comes with a new, opt-in Code Editor experience that lets you see and organize assets stored under your personal Cloud project or any other project to which you have access. You can still list and manage Earth Engine assets in a Cloud project from the Earth Engine command line, Python API or REST API (learn more). We've also provided documentation to explain how to get set up and running with the new Cloud integration.

For all those interested in opting in to the new system, click the button in the upper right of the Code Editor to create a new Cloud project or choose an existing one to use with Earth Engine.

As we previously announced, Google Earth Engine is building on Google Cloud Platform capabilities to enable new workflows and unlock exciting new advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

There is no charge associated with creating a Cloud project. For over a decade, Earth Engine has been a free, powerful tool for academic, research, and non-commercial users, and we're excited to add these features to allow you to do even more.

Specifically, you do NOT need to pay for computations and you do NOT need to pay for storage. (The exception is for companies or organizations who have a commercial contract with Google, in which case charges to an individual account should not happen.) I suspect that you incurred charges from using some other Cloud feature (such as AI Platform or Cloud Storage).

In terms of benefits, sharing of assets is not only easier, the asset path of project assets will not contain your username, but the name of the project instead.

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  • thanks for the answer, and I hope my provocative tone was not offending! I edited my post accordingly. Now the documentation's sentence computations requested via the EE API will be made with compute quota is confusing, and sounds contradicting with what you say here? Thanks!
    – Matifou
    Feb 3 at 8:43
  • And also, is it possible to share scripts in a project? See the similar question on a related post, that I feel did not receive enough attention: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/384199/…
    – Matifou
    Feb 3 at 8:45
  • Not at all, good questions! The compute quota is in terms of storage, number of concurrent tasks (exports), QPS and concurrent queries on the server. Currently, if you go above, you just have to wait. There's no payment option. You can monitor some quota through the Cloud console. As for scripts, those are still managed through the Code Editor, although integration with other services is under consideration. Feb 3 at 17:00
  • Earth Engine integrated with Google Cloud also enables provisioning and permissions to be configured and monitored like other Google Cloud services with IAM, which is useful for organisations.
    – intotecho
    Jul 5 at 3:09

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