In the “biggest update” on Google Earth since 2017, Google has added its Timelapse feature to the platform. While Timelapse has been around for years now, the company is now directing it to Google Earth.
There are also five themed themes built into the Voyager feature of Google Earth, which will provide users with guided tours on forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures, and mining and renewable energy sources. Also, Timelapse covered 1984 to 2018 to date, but Google has reached 2020 now. The company also said it would review it annually for the next ten years.
The feature allows users to go back in time and follow important changes around the world. It would be useful for journalists, scientists, and researchers, who could use data on deforestation, global warming, and other global climate change.
“Timelapse on Google Earth is about reshaping the image to explore the health and well-being of our only home and is a tool that can teach and encourage action,” the company said on the blog.
The review includes photos of the past 37 years, allowing users to track changes between 1984 and 2020. The company claims to have used 24 million satellite imagery over the past 37 years to create this feature. The company has said it will renew Timelapse every year with new images over the next decade.
“It took more than two million hours to process thousands of devices in Google Cloud to integrate 20 petabytes of satellite imagery into a single 4.4 terapixel-sized image – that’s equivalent to 530,000 videos in 4K resolution,” the post said.
The feature is available on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers. It can be found in the navigation icon on Google Earth. The company also uploads 800 Timelapse videos in both 2D and 3D for public use. Videos can be viewed on YouTube or used in MP4 format.
According to a 2019 blog post about Timelapse, Google uses images from NASA, the US Geological Survey’s Landsat, and European Copernicus programs and its Sentinel satellites. The company also works with American Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, which offers a technology called Time Machine. The Timelapse interface is provided in the Time Machine open source project.