Google Earth is getting its “biggest update since 2017”, although there is only one important thing you will see here. The new thing is that you will be able to see a 37-year timelapse of the entire planet or of a specific place that you want to see. The 3D time-lapse function displays yearly images since 1984 and you will also be able to see the changing landscape from different angles. This project is a collaboration between Google, NASA, the United States Geological Survey, the European Commission, and the European Space Agency.
In the time frame you’ll see, each frame is taken from a year of images taken from satellite images from NASA’s Landsat program and the EU’s Corpernicus Project. It sounds simple enough, but it’s a lot of data put together to give you a few seconds of time lapse. In fact, Google says they are extracting 20 petabytes of satellite imagery and combining it to create a 4.4-therapy video.
To see this incredible timelapse, go to g.co/Timelapse and use the search bar to go anywhere you want to see. You can also open the Google Earth application and click on the ship’s rudder to access the Timelapse. There are also over 800 Timelapse videos available in 2D or 3D that you can find at g.co/TimelapseVideos. While looking at the time lapse, you can also move the position of the camera so that you can view it from different angles.
While it’s great to see our Earth over the years in a quick video, it’s also humbling to see how much the Earth has changed over the years over four decades of planetary change. The last half century has seen more environmental change than any other time in human history. Climate change is a concept that has been spread quite often, but it sometimes feels abstract to some who have not experienced the effects first-hand.
Google hopes that the Time lapse function in Google Earth it will help people have a clearer image that our planet is changing and that we must work on solutions that can help mitigate the problems we face. You can now view and explore the feature in the Google Earth application or in the browser.