Google and Time launched a service showing how the planet has changed over 30 years


    Thanks to a new project by Google and Time Magazine, it became possible to see how the surface of the Earth has changed over the past 30 years. In collaboration with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA, they brought together images of the planet, made from space for more than a quarter century, and composed an interactive frame-by-frame map from them.

    This card, which is written in the Google blog, consists of millions of satellite imagery and trillions of pixels that can be viewed on the site Timelapse . In addition to the history of the expansion of his native city, you can see how the artificial Palm Islands were built in Dubai, how the Columbia Glacier in Alaska retreats, how the Amazon forests fell down and how Las Vegas grew from 1984 to 2012.

    These images were collected as part of an ongoing joint project by the US Geological Survey and NASA, known as Landsat. Their satellites have been photographing Earth from space since the 1970s. All received images are sent to Earth and archived in USGS tape drives, which look something like this:


    Google in 2009 began working with USGS to digitize this image archive. Using Google Earth Engine technology, they went through 2,068,467 images - a total of 909 terabytes of data - to select the highest quality (for example, no clouds), for every year since 1984 and for every place on Earth. Then they gathered them into huge planetary images, 1.78 terapixels each, one for each year.

    At the final stage, Google, together with Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab, recipient of the Google Focused Research Award, transformed these annual Earth images into a single, viewable HTML5 animation, which is also available on Google .

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