The world proves that change is the only constant
Not all of us are lucky enough to visit space and watch the earth from above. Nor do we have access to a personal TARDIS just to have a peek into what countries looked like a few or more years back. Combining both these elements, albeit metaphorically; Google has come up with its latest Google Earth Timelapse. It is a repository of satellite images of the changing features of Earth. Touted as an interactive experience, the images show how the world has changed in the last 32 years i.e. from 1984-2016. From urban settlements springing up on previous dry land and forests turning into dry lands, the Timelapse covers it all.
Unlike the version it released in 2013, Google Earth Timelapse has four more years’ worth of change up its sleeves. Apart from that, the visuals are far more clear and sharp.
Initially, the images were collected as a part of the collaboration between the United States Geological Survey and NASA termed Landsat. Two new satellites, Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 have provided the fresh images.
Given that the tool is global in nature, users can just type in the location and see the changes that have taken place. Made of 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, the Timelapse provides a visually entertaining and though provoking look into the changes.
The satellite stories
In terms of urban development, Dubai and Shanghai are the most surprising. These cities are the embodiments of the rags to riches story. Developed cities like New York and San Francisco however, have shown no signs of slowing down.
Climate change activists have ammunition in their hands to convince world leaders (ahem!) that global warming is not a myth. The time-lapse videos show the dangerous depletion of previous forest lands as well as diminishing lakes.
While the melting glaciers scene in the movie 2012 might have given the audience goosebumps, the Timelapse videos show the reality of it. And yes glaciers are actually melting and reducing, which is a potential cause of alarm for all of us.
Apart from the development and doomsday videos, one of the most entertaining satellite videos is from Miruixiang, Tibet. Visually captivating, it shows how a river slithers around a landscape.
Given that it is the weekend and you have ample time to waste on the internet, you can check out the whole playlist here. If you are more interested in viewing the changes location wise, then click here.