Google Releases Earth Timelapse Imagery Of 28 Years 1984-2012

Google and Time magazine have come together to release the animation of Earth timelapse imagery showing the earth’s surface over time, using high resolution satellite images. These GIF images are taken by NASA and U.S Geological Survey in an ongoing joint venture called Landsat. These images show around 28 years (1984- 2012) of Earth’s surface undergoing various changes. Brazilian Amazon Deforestation

Columbia Glacier Retreat

Dubai Coastal Expansion

Las Vegas Urban Growth

Earth Timelapse Imagery

Talking about the time-lapse animation released today, engineering manager for Goggle’s Earth Engine & Earth Outreach program, Rebecca Moore wrote in a blog post, “We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public”.

Rebecca further wrote in her blog post, “Much like the iconic image of Earth from the Apollo 17 mission—which had a profound effect on many of us—this time-lapse map is not only fascinating to explore, but we also hope it can inform the global community’s thinking about how we live on our planet and the policies that will guide us in the future.”

The high resolution satellite images of the earth clearly feature the Melting Glaciers in Alaska, Dubai coastal expansion, Urban growth in Las Vegas and deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon.

The satellites of Landsat (joint venture of NASA and U.S Geological Survey) are observing the earth surface since 1970s. These satellites take the images of Earth’s surface and send them back to Earth; these images are then archived on USGS tape drives to make them available online. These Landsat images use 1.8 trillion pixels per frame which is almost the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

According to the blog post of Rebecca Moore, Google Earth Engine has been taking the Earth’s imagery for every spot of Earth since 1984. A total of 2,068,467 images (909 terabytes of data) were then compiled into planetary images, which then were converted into this browsable HTML5 animation.

Check out the amazing Earth’s Imagery at Google’s Timelapse website.

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Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.


  1. Cameron Savage

    The Columbia Glacier series shown here is a great exercise in journalistic revisionism. Note that we only see 4 pictures from the series: ’84, ’97, ’06, and ’11. That’s because if you actually show a year by year series ( you only get a mild sense of “retreat” as the glacier size and general snow accumulation of the region ebb and flow. Shame on you, Ms. Peswani!

  2. shiwangi peswani

    Hey mate, Why shoot the messenger? I am only reporting on a Google project.

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