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earth.google.com

May 17, 2021 2021-05-17

Digital Learning • Learning Support

Google 3D Timelapse Feature for Observing Planet Earth

Timelapse in Google Earth combines more than 24 million satellite photos, two petabytes of data, and 2 million hours of CPU processing time to create an interactive view showing how Earth has changed from 1984 to 2020. Users can choose practically any place on Earth, change camera angles, and select a specific year they want to see. They can access Timelapse in Google Earth simply by going to g.co/Timelapse, or by tapping the Ship’s Wheel icon in Google Earth and selecting “Timelapse.” Google has provided more than 200 spotlights and guided tours for specific locations, such as Las Vegas, Kuwait City, and the Columbia Glacier in Alaska. Google has also uploaded more than 800 additional timelapse videos for public use that can be downloaded for free or viewed on YouTube. The photos used in the new timelapse feature come courtesy of NASA and the US Geological Survey’s Landsat program, as well as the European Union’s Copernicus initiative. The three satellites (Landsat-8, Sentinel 2a, and Sentinel 2b) allow Google to get a newly updated image of the world around every 2.5 days. To create the models and composite images seen in Google Earth, Google teamed with Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab to engineer the algorithms powering the new timelapse feature.

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