Google Earth gets a new 3D time-lapse feature

Google Earth has launched a new 3D “Time Lapse” feature to help users view how the Earth has been replaced in the last 37 years.

In a blog post, Google Earth states that the feature has developed using 24 million satellite images, allowing users to see four decades of planetary change – from 1984 to 2017 – in an interactive 4D experience.

With the latest animated timelapse imagery, users can see how worldwide warming, deforestation, and urban sprawl have affected specific areas over time. There also highlight sections that show some significant changes in critical locations around the world.

In what Google says is the most significant update the company has made to the platform since 2017, users can choose practically anywhere on Earth, change camera angles, and choose a specific year that users want to see.

Rebecca Moore, Outreach director of Google Earth and Earth Engine, explained, “It takes a lot to create a planet-sized timelapse video that we call Pixel Crunching on Earth Engine, Google’s cloud platform for geospatial analysis.”

“More than 2 million ampere-hours of processing on thousands of devices on Google Cloud, including 20 petabytes of satellite images collected in a 4.4 terapixel-sized video mosaic – that’s the equivalent of 530,000 videos in 4K resolution,” he said.

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