Earth Engine Code Editor

The Earth Engine (EE) Code Editor at is a web-based IDE for the Earth Engine JavaScript API. Code Editor features are designed to make developing complex geospatial workflows fast and easy. The Code Editor has the following elements (illustrated in Figure 1):

  • JavaScript code editor
  • Map display for visualizing geospatial datasets
  • API reference documentation (Docs tab)
  • Git-based Script Manager (Scripts tab)
  • Console output (Console tab)
  • Task Manager (Tasks tab) to handle long-running queries
  • Interactive map query (Inspector tab)
  • Search of the data archive or saved scripts
  • Geometry drawing tools

Components of the Code Editor

Figure 1. Diagram of components of the Earth Engine Code Editor at

The Code Editor has a variety of features to help you take advantage of the Earth Engine API. View example scripts or save your own scripts on the Scripts tab. Query objects placed on the map with the Inspector tab. Display and chart numeric results using the Google Visualization API. Share a unique URL to your script with collaborators and friends with the Get Link button. Scripts you develop in the Code Editor are sent to Google for processing and the generated map tiles and/or messages are sent back for display in the Map and/or Console tab. All you need to run the Code Editor is a web browser (use Google Chrome for best results) and an internet connection. The following sections describe elements of the Earth Engine Code Editor in more detail.

JavaScript editor

The JavaScript editor will:

  • Format and highlight code as you type
  • Underline code with problems, offer fixes and other hints for correct syntax
  • Autocomplete pairs of quotes, brackets and parentheses
  • Offer code completion hints for Earth Engine functions

Above the code editor are buttons for running the script, saving the script, resetting the output map and console, and getting a link to the script. When the Get Link button is pressed, a unique link will appear in the browser's address bar. This link represents the code in the editor at the time the button was pressed.

API reference (Docs tab)

On the left side of the Code Editor is the Docs tab, which contains the complete JavaScript API documentation. The documentation can be searched and browsed from the Docs tab.

Script Manager (Scripts tab)

The Scripts tab is next to the API Docs in the left panel of the Code Editor. The Script Manager stores private, shared and example scripts in Git repositories hosted by Google. The repositories are arranged by access level, with your private scripts stored in a repository you own in the Owner folder: users/username/default. You (and only you) have access to the repositories in the Owner folder unless you share them with someone else. The repositories in the Writer folder are repositories for which write access has been granted to you by their owner. You can add new scripts to, modify existing scripts in, or change access to (you may not remove their owner) the repositories in the Writer folder. The repositories in the Reader folder are repositories for which read access has been granted to you by their owner. The Examples folder is a special repository managed by Google which contains code samples. The Archive folder contains legacy repositories to which you have access but have not yet been migrated by their owner from an older version of the Script Manager. Search through your scripts using the filter bar at the top of the Scripts tab.

Script Manager

Figure 2. The Script Manager.

Click the button to create a new repository in the Owner folder or to create folders and files within a repository. You can rename scripts with the icon and delete them with the icon. You can move scripts and organize them into folders using drag and drop (Figure 2). If you drag a script to another repository, it gets copied.

All scripts and repositories maintain full version history. Click on the icon next to a script or repository to compare or revert it to an older version. To delete a repository, click the icon. To configure access to a repository, click the icon next to the repository name. Note that if you share a repository, the person with whom you're sharing will need to accept the repository by clicking the link shown in the settings dialog. Previously accepted repositories can be hidden by clicking the icon following the repo name in the Script Manager.

Repositories can be accessed using Git, so you can manage and edit your scripts outside the Code Editor, or sync them with an external system like GitHub. (Learn more about Git from this tutorial). Click on the icon next to the repository name for instructions on cloning the repository. Note that you can browse the repositories to which you have access by going to For some Git operations, you may need to create authentication credentials by going to the "Generate Password" link at the top of the page.

Script modules

It's good practice to write modular, reusable code that can be shared between scripts without extensive copying and pasting. To enable modular development, Earth Engine provides the ability to share code between scripts. For example, suppose you write a function that performs a useful set of operations. Rather than copy the code of the function into a new script, it's easier for the new script to load the function directly. To make a function or object available to other scripts, you add it to a special object called exports. To use the code in another script, use the require function to load the exports from another script. For example, suppose you define the following module in a file named FooModule.js which is in a folder named Modules:

Code Editor (JavaScript)

 * The Foo module is a demonstration of script modules.
 * It contains a foo function that returns a greeting string.
 * It also contains a bar object representing the current date.
 * @module Modules/FooModule

 * Returns a greeting string.
 * @param {ee.String} arg The name to which the greeting should be addressed
 * @return {ee.String} The complete greeting.
 */ = function(arg) {
  return 'Hello, ' + arg + '!  And a good day to you!';

 * An ee.Date object containing the time at which the object was created.
 */ = ee.Date(;

Note the use of the exports keyword in the form of exports.objectToExport. You can make use of this module in another script by using the require function. For example:

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var Foo = require('users/username/default:Modules/FooModule.js');



print('Time now:',;

The require function expects a string that describes the absolute path to the location of the module. Specifically, the argument of require() is of the form 'pathToRepository:pathToModuleScript'. You can only load modules from repositories that you own and/or have read access to. If you want others to be able to use your module, the repository must be shared with the other users you want to have access. You may wish to document your module to help others understand how to use it; we recommend using JSDoc style with the @module tag.

You can use the URL parameter ?scriptPath={repo}:{script} to share a reference to a file in your repo, e.g. Upon visiting the URL, the referenced file and its repo will be added to either the Reader or Writer directory on the Scripts tab, depending on your permission level for the shared repo.

Asset Manager (Assets tab)

The Asset Manager is in the Assets tab in the left panel. Use the Asset Manager (Figure 3) to upload and manage your own image assets in Earth Engine. See the Asset Manager page for details.

The Asset Manager

Figure 3. The Asset Manager.

Code Editor scripts can be shared via an encoded URL. The following sections describe various ways to generate a script URL, available options, and methods for managing script URLs.

The "Get Link" button at the top of the Code Editor (Figure 4) provides an interface for generating script URLs and setting script behavior options. Note the distinctions between snapshot and saved script URLs described below.


Figure 4. The "Get Link" button.

Code in the Editor can be shared via an encoded snapshot URL that gets created upon clicking the "Get Link" button at the top of the Code Editor. When the URL is visited by someone with an Earth Engine account, the browser will navigate to the Code Editor and replicate the environment as it was when the link was created, including code, imports, map layers, and map position. Clicking the "Get Link" button will automatically copy the script link to the clipboard. Additionally, a dialog box will appear providing options to control the execution of the shared script, along with buttons to copy and visit the generated link. The control options include preventing the script from automatically running, and hiding the code pane when someone opens the shared link. The draggable dialog box can be dismissed via the "Esc" key or a click elsewhere on the page.

Saved scripts have an option to share a link that will always load the most recent saved version and is only accessible by you and others with current access to the repository containing the script. To use this feature, load a saved script from the Script Manager tab, click the dropdown arrow to the right of the "Get Link" button and select "Copy Script Path". A dialog box will appear presenting the shareable script URL. Note that the script URL has also been set in the browser's address bar. For guidance on sharing your repository with others, please see the Script Manager section.

The dropdown button to the right of the "Get Link" button has an option to "Manage Links". Clicking this option loads a new browser tab with an interface for you to recall, remove, and download previously generated script links. Selecting a script and pressing the download button will download a zipped folder ("") to your system containing a .txt file representation for each selected script.

The ui.url module allows programmatic manipulation of the script URL's fragment identifier via get and set methods. This means that Code Editor scripts and Earth Engine Apps can read and store values in the page's URL. Notice the end of the following two URLs, the first sets the debug variable as false and the second sets it as true; visit both links and notice that the debug checkbox in the console is not checked in the first, and is checked in the second, changing the behavior of each script.;;

This feature can be used to set map zoom and center, as well as other behaviors you might want to customize when sending links to particular people or groups.

Search tool

To find datasets to use in your scripts, you can use the search tool for the data archive. The search tool is the text box at the top of the Code Editor that says 'Search places and datasets...' Type the name of a data product, sensor, or other keyword into the search bar and click the button to see a list of matching places, raster and table datasets. Click on any raster or table result to see the description for that dataset in the archive. To import the dataset directly into your script, click the import link or the button from the dataset description.


The results of importing datasets to your script are organized in an imports section at the top of your script, hidden until you import something. Once you have created some imports, you should see something similar to Figure 5. To copy imports to another script, or convert the imports to JavaScript, click the icon next to the Imports header and copy the generated code into your script. You can delete the import with the icon.

Code Editor imports section

Figure 5. The imports section at the top of the Code Editor.


The Map object in the API refers to the map display in the Code Editor. For example, Map.getBounds() will return the geographic region visible in the Code Editor. Check the Map functions in the API to see other customizations for this display.

Layer Manager

Use the Layer Manager in the upper right corner of the map to adjust the display of layers you added to the map. Specifically, you can toggle the visibility of a layer or adjust its transparency with the slider. Click the icon to adjust visualization parameters for individual layers. The visualization tool that appears (Figure 6) allows you to interactively configure layer display parameters. Click the button on the right of the tool (which performs a Custom stretch to the supplied min and max range by default) to linearly stretch the display to either percentiles or standard deviations of image values in the display window. Statistics are computed from all the pixels in the Map window at the current zoom level. Use the sliders to adjust gamma and/or transparency. Click the Palette radio button and specify a custom palette by adding colors (), removing colors () or manually entering a comma separated list of hex strings () Click Apply to apply the visualization parameters to the current display. Click Import to load a visualization parameters object as a new variable in the imports section of your script.

The layer visualization tool.

Figure 6. The layer visualization tool.

Inspector tab

The Inspector tab next to the Task Manager lets you interactively query the map. When the Inspector tab is activated, the cursor becomes a crosshair which will display the location and layer values under the cursor when you click on the map. For example, Figure 7 shows the results of clicking on the map within the Inspector tab. The cursor location and zoom level are displayed along with pixel values and a list of objects on the map. The objects list is interactive. To see more information, expand the objects in the Inspector tab.

Inspector tab

Figure 7. The Inspector tab shows information about the cursor location and the layer values under the cursor.

Console Tab

When you print() something from your script, such as text, objects or charts, the result will be displayed in the Console. The console is interactive, so you can expand printed objects to get more details about them.

Tasks tab

Earth Engine Tasks are operations that are capable of running much longer than the standard API request timeout. These long-running tasks are the only mechanism for creating persistent artifacts in Earth Engine and adjacent systems (Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, etc.), and they fall into two categories: Import and Export.

Import tasks can be used to upload images or upload tables into Earth Engine from a variety of filetypes (.csv, .tif, etc.). Export tasks can be used to execute and write results from the EE computation system (see the guide for exporting data ).

For exports, each call to an Export function in the Code Editor will populate an entry in the Unsubmitted tasks section of the Tasks tab. To submit an export task to the server, click the Run button next to the task. A configuration dialog will appear that allows you to specify a variety of parameters for the task. If the task is fully specified at creation time (that is, the call to Export has all necessary parameters), hold ctrl or while clicking Run to submit the task without showing the dialog.

For imports, file upload happens locally before the task is submitted to the server. Import tasks in the upload phase will show their progress in the Unsubmitted tasks section and automatically submit to the server once the file upload is complete.

Unsubmitted tasks only appear on the page which created them, and they are lost when the page is closed. Once a task is submitted to the server, clicking on its row in the UI will provide additional information and options about the task status, including the option to request cancellation.

To view, search and cancel many tasks in a full-page view (including on mobile clients), use the Task Manager.


The profiler displays information about the resources (CPU time, memory) consumed by specific algorithms and other parts of a computation. This helps to diagnose why a script is running slowly or failing due to memory limits. To use the profiler, click the Run with profiler option in the dropdown on the Run button. As a shortcut, hold down Alt (or Option on Mac) and click Run, or press Ctrl+Alt+Enter. This activates a Profiler tab on the right side of the code editor. As the script runs, the Profiler tab will display a table of resource usage from the script. Clicking the Run button (without profiling) will make the Profiler tab disappear and disable the profiler.

See the computation overview page for a breakdown of the profiler's output.

Geometry tools

You can also import geometries to your script by drawing them on screen. To create geometries, use the geometry drawing tools in the upper left corner of the map display (Figure 8). For drawing points, use the placemark icon , for drawing lines, use the line icon , for drawing polygons, use the polygon icon , for drawing rectangles use the rectangle icon . (Note that rectangles are planar geometries, so they cannot be placed on a layer with geodesic geometries like lines and polygons.)

Using any of the drawing tools will automatically create a new geometry layer and add an import for that layer to the Imports section. To add geometries to a new layer, hover on the Geometry Imports in the map display and click the +new layer link. You can also toggle visibility of the geometries from the Geometry Imports section. Note that drawn geometries are geodesic by default, except for rectangles, which are planar only. Use the Geometry constructor to convert them to planar geometries. Learn more about geometries in Earth Engine on the Geometry page.

Figure 8. The geometry drawing tools are in the upper left corner of the map display.

To configure the way geometries are imported to your script, click the icon next to the layer in the Geometry Imports section on the map or in the Imports section of the code editor. The geometry layer settings tool will be displayed in a dialog box which should look something like Figure 9. Note that you can import the drawn shapes as geometries, features or feature collections. The geometry import settings also allow you to change the color with which the layer is displayed, add properties to the layer (if it is imported as a Feature or FeatureCollection) or rename the layer.

The geometry configuration

Figure 9. The geometry configuration tool.

Finally, to prevent geometries in a layer from being edited, you can lock the layer by pressing the icon next to the layer. This will prevent adding, deleting, or editing any geometries on the layer. To unlock the layer again, press the icon.


Click the button in the upper right of the Code Editor to see links to this Developer's Guide, other help forums, a guided tour of the Code Editor and a list of keyboard shortcuts that help with coding, running code, and displaying data on the Map. Click the button to file a bug report, request a new feature, suggest a dataset, or otherwise send feedback when no response is needed.