Google Earth lets you explore our world in three dimensions. In its latest update, Google has added a whole new dimension to the tool – time. From now on, you can see time flying in any corner of the Earth and witness the change it went through between 1984 and 2020. In some parts of the world, this change is impressive. But in the others, it’s devastating.
“Our planet has seen rapid environmental change in the past half-century — more than any other point in human history,” writes Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach. Many of us have experienced these changes directly, especially if we’ve witnessed catastrophes like floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and the like. But for many people, “the effects of climate change feel abstract and far away, like melting ice caps and receding glaciers,” Moore continues.
Indeed, although I’ve witnessed an earthquake, two wars, and a flood in my country, I must admit that changes on a more global level seem distant. And the point of Timelapse in Google Earth is to bring those changes closer to us and make us more aware of them.
For creating the new timelapse feature, Google teamed up with experts at Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. “As we looked at what was happening, five themes emerged,” Moore writes. “Forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures, sources of energy, and our world’s fragile beauty. Google Earth takes you on a guided tour of each topic to better understand them.”
If you’d like to explore the feature, go to g.co/Timelapse. Alternatively, you can open Google Earth and click on the ship’s wheel to find the feature. You can also check out more than 800 timelapse videos Google uploaded for you to explore.
[via Laughing Squid]