In Google’s quest to take over the world through providing services so helpful and cool we can’t turn them down, they are now entering the world of remotely sensed data. The new Google Earth Engine has many years’ worth of satellite-derived earth observation data for viewing, although apparently not for downloading unless you have VIP status. All of these data (limited to the public Landsat and MODIS sensors at present, apparently) are available elsewhere and for free, but this new platform makes it easy to visualize composites of global and regional images. MODIS data, especially, have proven to be such a hassle to download and import into other programs, that the Google Earth Engine could provide a great gateway to these data.
But, beyond what our government already provides for free, Google is still not sharing the data (or really any information about them!) used in Google Earth. That high-resolution GeoEye imagery is what we’d really like Google Earth Engine to share with us. . .
For more information see http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/introducing-google-earth-engine.html.