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Earth changes over the past 28 years shown in Google Timelapse

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Earth changes over the past 28 years shown in Google Timelapse

Google has launched a new service, called Timelapse, which consists of motion images that depict the changes suffered by our beloved Earth during the past 28 years.

Going back in time is as exciting as visiting the future. Unfortunately, none of these is possible as of yet, but Google is providing the next best thing with the help of a new platform called Timelapse.

Google Timelapse glacier retreat
Alaska’s Columbia glacier retreat seen with the help of Google Timelapse.

Google announces HTML5-powered Timelapse platform

It is impossible not to love Google. Sure, many of its actions are surrounded by controversy, but the company does come up with things which inspire people. Such is the case of the aforementioned Timelapse feature, which is aimed at showing how the Earth has changed in the last 28 years.

Timelapse consists of HTML5-based interactive animations, consists of photos of Earth as seen from space. The images have been taken over a period of about 28 years, from 1984 to 2012 (or 2011 depending on the case).

Google Timelapse Dubai expansion
Dubai coastal expansion over a period of 28 years demonstrated in Google Timelapse.

Millions of images and hundreds of terabytes have contributed to 1.78-terapixel animations

This time-lapse experience has been made possible with the help of the US Geological Survey, TIME, and, of course, NASA. Google and its partners used about 909 terabytes of data in order to compile images with a total resolution of 1.78 terapixels.

Each Earth photo is available for each year since 1984. These photos are the result of millions of photos taken by satellites over the years and they are depicting the various phenomenons occurring around Earth.

Google Timelapse Las Vegas
Las Vegas urban growth over the past 26 years shown in Google Timelapse.

Google Earth played a major part in Google Timelapse

Google says that more than two million images and 909 terabytes have been analyzed since 2009. The resulting pictures have become possible thanks to the Google Earth Engine technology.

In order to make them viable HTML5 animations, the search giant worked closely with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab.

Google Timelapse Amazon deforestation
Brazilian Amazon deforestation over a period of 28 years is much more visible with the help of Google Timelapse.

Mixed feelings over the animations, as they are both amazing and sad

Some of the most interesting interactive animations consist of the Alaskan Columbia glacier retreat, Dubai coastal expansion, the Brazilian Amazon deforestation, and the Las Vegas urban growth.

The deforestation and the glacier retreat are two examples of what we are doing to this planet. Global warming is directly linked to these unfortunate events that most likely will not stop anytime soon. Either way, enjoy the time-lapses!

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Earth changes over the past 28 years shown in Google Timelapse