Google Earth gets new 3D time-lapse feature
In a bid to let the users see how the Earth has changed during the past 37 years, Google Earth has launched a new 3D “time-lapse” feature.
In a blog post, Google Earth said that this feature has been developed using 24 million satellite images, which allow users to witness nearly four decades of planetary change-from 1984 to 2017-in an interactive 4D experience.
With the new animated Timelapse imagery, users can see how global warming, deforestation and urban expansion have affected a particular region over time. There are also some highlighted sections that show you some of the bigger changes in key locations around the world.
In what Google says is the biggest update the company has made to the platform since 2017, users can practically pick any place on the Earth, change camera angles, and select a specific year the users want to see.
Timelapse in Google Earth is the visual evidence of dynamic change on our planet from climate change and human behavior. Our hope is that it will be used to educate and inspire.
— Google Earth (@googleearth) April 15, 2021
“Making a planet-sized timelapse video required a significant amount of what we call ‘pixel crunching’ in Earth Engine, Google’s cloud platform for geospatial analysis,” Rebecca Moore, Earth Engine and Outreach director of Google Earth, explained.
“It took more than 2 million processing hours across thousands of machines in Google Cloud to compile 20 petabytes of satellite imagery into a single 4.4 terapixel-sized video mosaic–that’s the equivalent of 530,000 videos in 4K resolution,” she said.