Watch 32 years of the planet’s history with Google Earth’s Timelapse feature

Google Earth really is one of Google’s most impressive accomplishments when you think about it – an entire planet documented with satellite imagery, road systems, landmarks, and even a ‘street view’ feature.

And there’s more. Launched in 2013, Timelapse allows users to get a quick look at how the planet has changed over preceding decades, and now it’s been given a comprehensive update.

In a blog post, Chris Herwig, Program Manager at Google Earth, explains how the company has sifted through 5,000,000 satellite images to provide us all with the new update – giving us an overview of Earth and how it has changed from 1984 up to the present day.

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Herwig writes: “For this latest update, we had access to more images from the past, thanks to the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation Program, and fresh images from two new satellites, Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2.

“We took the best of all those pixels to create 33 images of the entire planet, one for each year.”

The result, is a “sharper view of our planet, with truer colors and fewer distracting artifacts.”

You can view the newly updated Timelapse over at the Google Earth Engine site, where it’s possible to zoom in on any area of the globe to see how a particular location has changed throughout the past few decades.

It’s when watching close-ups of specific areas that Timelapse is at its most impressive and sometimes startling, especially when viewing entire cities being built or forests being destroyed.

As such, Google has decided to provide us all with a YouTube playlist of Timelapse’s finest moments, including the expansion of Miami, and the melting away of glaciers.

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Let us know what you think of the new Timelapse in the comments.

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