What do you get when you mix Google, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, a bunch of Landsat satellites and TIME Magazine? You get some pretty awesome Google earth timelapse videos.
The internet giant has been working for years to capture geographical changes around the globe. The timelapse videos, which now date back to 1984, show glaciers melting, forests disappearing, and roads being built.
Google writes on its blog: “Today, we’re making it possible for you to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. Working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME, we’re releasing more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into an interactive time-lapse experience. We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.”
The Google Earth timelapse videos were created from millions of satellite images. You can zoom in on certain parts of the earth or scroll back to see the entire planet change over the last three decades.
The videos show incredible events like the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, the artificial Palm Islands in Dubai, the urban growth around Las Vegas and the deforestation of the Amazon in Brazil.
NASA and the USGS joined forces in the 1970s to create Landsat. The satellites have been continuously taking photographs as they orbit around the earth and Google has sifted through millions of them to create the timelapse videos.
A message on the Google blog reads: “Using Google Earth Engine technology, we sifted through 2,068,467 images—a total of 909 terabytes of data—to find the highest-quality pixels (e.g., those without clouds), for every year since 1984 and for every spot on Earth. We then compiled these into enormous planetary images, 1.78 terapixels each, one for each year.”
Here’s a video about the Google Earth Timelapse videos.