Google Shows How Earth Has Changed In The Last 33 Years


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockNov 30 2016, 19:30 UTC

Tibet, seen in Timelapse. Google

A few years ago, Google launched Timelapse, a project that showed how our planet has changed between 1984 and 2012. The project was done in collaboration with the US Geological Survey, NASA, and TIME magazine, and combined the historic images with freely accessible Google Earth data.

Now, the Mountain View company has re-launched the project by adding four years of images (from 2012 to 2016), petabytes worth of data, and a new approach to imaging techniques that gives better satellite images (both old and new) with less image artifacts and truer colors.


The team had to go through 5 million pictures collected by five different satellites to create a perfect cloud-free image for each year of the project. The project works just like Google Maps, so you can search any location on Earth and look at how it has changed over the past three decades.

The team chose 25 compelling locations that show some incredible differences year on year, such as Dubai sprouting the Palm Islands or Lake Aral slowly disappearing due to human changes to the hydrology of the region.


Tibet, seen from 1984 to 2012. Google