Update Google Earth Time Lapse

Elizabeth Borneman


Google Earth has continued to improve as satellite imagery and technologies has gotten better. Crowdsourcing information has also given us new and improved ways of looking at the world in all its variety and incredible detail. 

Google Earth has recently released a new time-lapse of the Earth, composed of over 5,000,000 satellite images. The first time lapse was released in 2013, and viewers of the new images three years later can see some of the changes the Earth has undergone in that time period.

In the current time lapse viewers can see the growth of the Palm Islands in Dubai, the retreat of the Colombia Glacier in Alaska, and the expansion of cities in the United States like Las Vegas. Viewers can also see the changes in river flows, manmade creations like bridges, the movements of glaciers, and the changes in forested areas around the world. 

Old and new satellite images were used to create the highly detailed time lapse, which is available on the Earth Engine website. The updated time lapse used images from many different satellites and was created with the help of Landsat imagery, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and the US Geological Survey. 

Meandering river in Nyingchi, Tibet, China [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*).  Via: Google
Meandering river in Nyingchi, Tibet, China [View in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*). Via: Google

As technology improves we will be able to see parts of the world we’ve never been to before. Discoveries will be made in the deepest parts of the ocean, in the forests, and under the ice. We will continue to see how our Earth is changing and how humanity is changing it as forests grow and shrink, as cities expand or are abandoned, and as our world reacts to new climates. 

Watch the entire Google Earth Timelapse Playlist to see highlights of changes on Earth:


Our most detailed view of earth across space and time. (2016, November 29). Google. https://blog.google/products/earth/our-most-detailed-view-earth-across-space-and-time/


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About the author
Elizabeth Borneman
My name is Elizabeth Borneman and I am a freelance writer, reader, and coffee drinker. I live on a small island in Alaska, which gives me plenty of time to fish, hike, kayak, and be inspired by nature. I enjoy writing about the natural world and find lots of ways to flex my creative muscles on the beach, in the forest, or down at the local coffee shop.

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