Google Earth has helped us for more than 15 years to get to know our planet better. It is a three-dimensional replica of millions of places with impressive detail that allows us to navigate for years and years without even discovering everything it hides.
Now Google announces the biggest update of Google Earth since 2017, and the main novelty is the possibility of making Timelapses. Thanks to 24 million satellite photos from the last 37 years, we will be able to enjoy experiences to see how the planet has changed in the last decades.
One of the objectives is to show the effects of climate change, although the information shown can have all kinds of uses, including deforestation, for example.
[…] forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures, energy sources and the fragile beauty of our world.
We just have to go to the web g.co/Timelapse and use the search bar to choose any place on the planet where we want to see the time in motion.
We can also access it by opening Google Earth and clicking on the ship’s helm to find Timelapse. They have also uploaded more than 800 Timelapse videos in 2D and 3D for public use at g.co/TimelapseVideos, in case we prefer not to have to edit our own.
To create it they have worked with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. Making a planet-sized timelapse video required a significant amount of what they call pixel processing on Earth Engine, Google’s cloud platform for geospatial analysis. To add animated Timelapse images to Google Earth, they collected more than 24 million satellite images from 1984 to 2020, representing trillions of pixels. It took more than two million hours of processing on thousands of machines on Google Cloud to compile 20 petabytes of satellite images into a single video mosaic the size of the equivalent of 530,000 videos in 4K resolution.
They say that Timelapse on Google Earth is the largest video on the planet, and now it’s just one click away.