Google has unveiled a 3-decade timelapse of Earth. It shows the images shot from space, featuring different corners of our planet and the changes they underwent over the course of thirty years.
Timelapse videos are awesome, and we love them for many reasons. To me, it’s especially interesting when they’re made from screenshots, because it’s still not that common. But this one is different. It’s more than just interesting, and it’s not about the technique, technology and time it took to make it. It’s striking and eye opening. It left me with a really strong impression.
Google unveils a 3-decade timelapse of the Earth. http://ti.me/2gQbR1R
Posted by TIME on Sunday, December 4, 2016
The Landsat satellites, orbiting the Earth since 1972, have been scanning the surface ever since. The photos they took show how humans have been treating their only home for the past decades, and they are brought together in this timelapse that says it all. It uses over 5.4 million images taken between 1984 and 2016, and the Google Earth Engine team gave each one individual attention. They cleaned the clouds and repaired missing pixels, one photo at a time. And when this was done, they assembled them in a 2-minute video. It shows us vast areas of out wonderful planet and how exactly they’ve changed over the course of three decades. And whether the changes are good or bad – it strikes you. At least I felt that way.
In some places, you can see the progress. For example, I knew how much Dubai has changed over the years, but I’ve only seen it in individual photos so far. The timelapse gives a fantastic insight into the changes in their landscape.
The other places show growth of urban population, and often the destruction of nature or water surfaces goes along. I feel it on a small scale whenever they cut down trees in my city to build malls and parking lots. But when I saw it on such vast and global scale in this video, it hit me hard.
Other than the timelapse in this video, you can explore the world on Time’s website and see any part of the globe and its changes over the course of three decades. I found my hometown and the city where I live now. Although I don’t come from a country known for its progress – even these cities have changed.
We are thousands of miles apart, but we all live on the same planet. We may travel a lot, but we can never see the big picture. First of all, we can only see a small part of the planet, and secondly, it’s impossible to experience changes that took years in only a couple of seconds. But this timelapse enables us exactly this. We can see the Earth change before our eyes – and it’s both magnificent and scary. I’m curious to hear, how do you like this timelapse? Did you also find it striking? Share your impressions in the comments.