Google Earth has recently updated its Timelapse feature, which lets you view how a region has changed over time. The new imagery will let you see time unfolding from 1984 to 2022, and it’s fascinating to watch.
New imagery from 2021 and 2022 has been added in higher definition, giving anyone with an internet connection the unique vantage point of seeing the Earth change. You can watch almost four decades of urban sprawl, see climate change happening, and even witness new solar and wind farms springing up.
“Timelapse in Google Earth is a global, zoomable time-lapse video of the planet, providing evidence of earth’s dynamic changes, from irrigation systems emerging in the deserts of Egypt and meandering rivers shifting over time in the Amazon rainforest in Pucallpa, Peru to volcanic eruptions, logging, and wildfires changing the landscape of California’s Lassen National Forest,” Google Earth Engine program manager Chris Herwig writes in a blog post announcing this week’s update.
The 4D interactive map is made up of millions of satellite photos. Watching the changing landscape is mind-boggling, particularly in some locations. Las Vegas literally triples in size in as many decades. Meanwhile, Lake Mead visibly shrinks as water becomes a scarcer commodity.
I spent a few minutes looking at my own city and seeing the changing land use over these years. It will be interesting to witness what happens in the next ten years as cities try to implement green corridors and check urban sprawl.
You can either use the timelapse tool yourself on any location in the globe or choose from a library of 800 timelapse videos from 300 locations.