With the latest November 29th update, viewers can now use the Timelapse video to see the changes in the earth from 1984 to 2016.
Google has released an update on the 29th of November, offering additional images and more data covering periods from 1984 to 2016. Viewers can see the changes of the world within this period in a matter of seconds using the timelapse video.
Launched in 2013
The Timelapse project was initially launched in the year 2013 and was a combined effort of Google with NASA and TIME. Millions of satellite images were taken of the earth over several years and the ones without the clouds were combined to present a unified world map that could be zoomed. When it was first introduced, it was one of the most comprehensive views of the earth ever seen.
With the help of Timelapse, you can see a location changing with time. The progress or change is a fast forward one showing changes in additional infrastructure in communities, such as buildings. The spaces move on and progress within a few seconds. You can see that some structures are destroyed and replaced with other ones. The changes seen in some locations are unbelievable.
More Satellite Data
The new update allows Google Earth to offer a more comprehensive view from space. It has come about on account of the company’s collaboration with US Geological Survey as well as with TIME and with NASA. The partnership with them has allowed Google to offer the entire history of images for the mentioned period, adding 4 years more to the current data.
With the new information, Google has been able to leverage its resources, resulting in Timelapse having the ability to offer sharper views of the earth, including brighter colors and less number of distractions.
A Complicated Process
The process was quite difficult and Google has discussed it in its blog post, describing how the company had to sift through an astonishing three quadrillion pixels that had been taken from around five million images. These satellite images were offered through the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation, with new data was also received through the use of Landsat 8 and by Sentinel 2.
Human Impact on Earth
Timelapse shows the community development for the period, with some locations turning into towns or cities. It also shows the destruction of the environment caused by humans. For example, Dalian, a city in Liaoning province of China, is shown consisting of a few buildings with settlements in the 1980s. During the period till 2016, the landscape is being shown as being slowly covered with infrastructure, buildings and the like. Most of the green lands have been destroyed and it has lost its previous green character of its recent past.
Timelapse also offers definite examples that show how human encroachment has affected the movement of glaciers in Antarctica. Just like in Dalian, the development of cities and infrastructure has reduced the forested areas.