It’s easy to talk about the statistics and science behind why the planet is warming and changing, but overall, the big picture is sometimes difficult to truly comprehend. Google has set out to provide an easier way to understand it all and has teamed up with NASA, TIME, and the U.S. Geological Survey to show time–lapse images of how parts of the Earth have changed over the past few decades.
Some of the changes you’ll see include deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, urban growth in Las Vegas, a nearly vanished glacier in Alaska, and the rapid development of the human–made Palm Islands in Dubai.
The imagery was collected by NASA and the USGS on a mission called Landsat. Google joined the team in 2009 to bring the images online, sifting through 2,068,467 of them to find the best ones from 1984 onward for every corner of the planet.
The group then joined forces with CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University to turn the images into a seamless animation. You can check out the final product in Google’s Timelapse website. Not only is it seriously addictive to explore, but the more you look at it, the more it will (probably) shape your view on how humans have impacted the state of the planet.
What do you think of the final result? Do you think strong imagery like this will be enough to help people see how the planet is changing, and how humans are changing it?