For the first time, Google Earth offers users the opportunity to go back in time up to 37 years. The new feature is the biggest update in years and creates a default timeline. It shows how the city of Brussels grew over three decades, how luxury resorts were built on the coast of Dubai, as well as how the Amazon forests are disappearing and glaciers melting.
A new Google feature called Timelapse is made possible by the collection of 24 million massive satellite images. Images collected by NASA and other space agencies between 1984 and 2020. Together, the images form a video that makes it possible to go back in time. Processing all these images into animation would have taken over two million hours of computer time.
According to Google, Timelapse was not only created to take a nostalgic look back in earlier times, but also to reflect on how climate has changed in recent decades. So the tech company has compiled some objective listings – see Youtube – which highlight urban growth, deforestation, and melting of ice. For example, the time-lapse shot of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska clearly shows how the glacier has gotten smaller in recent years.
If you want to try it out for yourself, then check out Google Earth And you can enter a site there yourself. In the upper right part you can choose General or Play Time Lapse.