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Google Earth Timelapse

This tool highlights the importance of having ‘eyes in the sky’.

Satellite imagery has the potential to teach us a lot about how our Earth is changing and can provide insight into whether we are a force behind the changes. This tool created by the Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab is powered by the Google Earth Engine, and it shows timelapse of the entire earth, in high resolution imagery. I’ve selected fascinating examples of change over time and shared them below.

Not-So-Great-Anymore Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

Regarding the Great Salt Lake, another way to show change over time can be found through a similar site called Global Surface Water Explorer. If you turn on the “Change Intensity” layer, you’ll see the areas of the Great Salt Lake that have significantly decreased in surface water extent.


Lahar Flows from Mt. Pinatubo, Luzon, Philippines


Sprawling Growth of Shanghai, China


Rotating Logging in Western Oregon, USA

Sometimes, viewing change over time can be beautiful and mesmerizing. Try not to get hypnotized by the shifting mosaics of cleared timber sites (below).

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