Time Inc have created a timelapse site in collaboration with Google. It shows how global landscapes have changed in the last 30 years. You can view some of Earths most well known locations, such as Dubai, Las Vegas and the Amazon and how they have developed since the early 80’s. You can actually enter any location and see how its grown, shrunk, disappeared or similar. The local images aren’t great but you can still get an idea of what’s happened to your town or city in the last three decades.
Below you can see how Dubai has gone from an empty desert to a massive land and sea city like no other in just a few decades. You can also see the effects of deforestation in the Amazon. The site is clearly designed to raise awareness of our impact on the planet, with most of the ‘editors picks’ illustrating just how bad the damage can be. Melting glaciers, dried up lakes and large industrial operations are all covered.
Whilst the above shows what can be achieved with determination and a lot of oil wealth, the below shows the environmental cost of development.
It took a huge amount of time, resources and effort from Google to complete the project. Teams had to remove clouds, fill in missing parts and stitch together images to bring the crude images up to date. A prime example of the huge effort is what it took to map the forests of Mexico. It took a thousand powerful computers a full day to piece together 53,000 images – a job that would take a single standard computer three years to complete, and that’s just one area of a very big planet. A huge effort to make a very insightful product.