On the web browser, Google Earth gives a fascinating 3D tour of the planet, and the app’s newest feature lets one look back from the present day to 1984 so that one can see how climate change has affected the Earth over the last 37 years. Google has highlighted a few areas itself which one wants to check out. For example, the shifting coastline around Chatham, Massachusetts, or the retreating Columbia Glacier in Alaska. One can see forests disappear, and cities are rising through laptops in the blink of an eye.
A specific place on Earth can be searched or browse through one of the five suggested categories of timelapse Urban Expansion, Changing Forests, Warming Planet, Fragile Beauty, and Sources of Energy. Google has put together more than 800 highlights packages; one can also access that. Ice flows, rivers change course, solar farms expand, lakes dry up, and many more in either 2D or 3D.
According to Rebecca Moore, director of Earth Engine & Outreach at Google Earth, “Our planet has seen a rapid environmental change in the past half-century – more than any other point in human history.” She also said in their community, many of the people experience these changes. She also shared that she was evacuated from their homes in California during the state’s wildfires last year.
The new timelapse feature makes use of make use of around 24 million satellite photos gathered by Google Earth. Data from NASA, USGS, ESA, the European Union was collected along the way. As per Google, to process these 20 petabytes of imagery, more than 2 million processing hours were needed into a single 4.4 terapixel-sized video mosaic, and that’s around 530,000 videos in 4K to give a sense of scale. The company used carbon-neutral; for the job, 100% renewable energy-matched data centers were used. The new imagery is free to use and access like the rest of Google Earth. It is good to explore how our planet has changed over 40 years.