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Google Earth Engine Doesn’t Support ‘ee.mapclient’ in Python 3

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Many users choose to work with Google Earth Engine, and many do so using Python 3. While it has proven a reliable tool in the past, it would seem that it has now reached its limits thanks to a discovery made by a user. According to this user on Stackoverflow,  Google Earth Engine no longer supports the ee.mapclient() function from Python 3 which would give users access to mapping options.

While bumping into such trouble is frustrating to say the least, one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that multiple people have run into this problem before. Google even acknowledge the issue in some form, by posting what their explanation is for why things are the way they are. Here is what they had to say regarding mapping in Google Earth Engine:

“We have not been actively maintaining the mapclient object, because it depends on Tk, a graphical user interface toolkit, which behaves differently on different machines”

No solution yet

While this might be a frustrating issue for multiple users, there is no solution developed for it yet. In other words, people have to wait until a solution emerges or try to come up with one on their own. It’s definitely not the definition of a fun time to be stuck trying to find a workaround for mapping functionality in Python 3.6 for Google Earth Engine, but it’s what some people will have to do in order to properly go about their business.

Google to provide a workaround

Google is supposedly working on a workaround for the problem, but there’s no news about when that workaround might be expected to drop. It’s not a lot of information to go by, but it’s doubtful that Google Earth Engine is currently the apex of their focus, with so many services and branches which need their attention.  However, even so, Google remains people’s best bet for a solution overall, since they know their own services better than anyone.

The best that users can do is hope for a solution to drop as soon as possible, although realistically speaking it might be a while before Google manage to identify and solve the issue. The only thing that would help at the moment is to help Google by letting them know what kind of operation you are trying to complete through the usage of the mapping functionality. Their insight on how their service works might be able to help them give you an alternative solution for your problem. Even if you don’t exactly get the answer you were hoping for, you could still make do with an alternative approach which is just as effective.