Sunday, January 5, 2014

Google Timelapse - Stunning Pictures of Earth Through Time

Google is working with USGS, NASA and TIME in an effort to making it possible for us to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. This is being done through a zoom-able time-lapse map as part of the new Timelapse project of TIME. This interactive time-lapse map is built from millions of satellite images of earth taken from space. You can explore this global map and have a stunning historical perspective for more than a quarter century from 1984 to 2012. 

The images were collected as part of an ongoing joint mission between the USGS and NASA called Landsat. Their satellites have been observing earth from space since the 1970s and all of the images sent back to Earth and archived on USGS tape drives. Google used these images to make a historic archive of earth imagery for every year since 1984 and for every spot on Earth.

Then they compiled these into enormous planetary images picking the best ones for each year. Google then converted these annual Earth images into a seamless, browsable animation in collaboration with CREATE Lab. The result is tremendous - the time-lapse map. You can now view the stunning phenomena such as the sprouting of artificial Palm Islands in Dubai, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest and urban growth in Las Vegas from 1984 to 2012.

Credited to the Author

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