Timelapse

Timelapse

Timelapse is optimized for interactive exploration on desktop browsers. For the full interactive experience, view this page on desktop.

Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time.

Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency's Copernicus Earth observation program.

Search, pan, or zoom around to begin exploring our new Timelapse, or even check out our YouTube highlights. To embed the timelapse viewer on your site, use the “Share or embed” button above. You can also create a timelapse tour that moves from one destination to another over time using the Timelapse Tour Editor.

Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Earth Engine’s cloud-computing model, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface using Google’s computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog.

data sources

  • NASA Landsat Program, Landsat 4 (1984-1993), Landsat 5 TM (1984-2012), Landsat 7 ETM+ (1999-2013), Landsat 8 OLI (2013-2016), courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls.
  • Copernicus Sentinel Program, Sentinel 2A MSI Level 1C, European Union/ESA/Copernicus, 2015-2016.
  • MOD09GA MODIS/Terra Surface Reflectance Daily L2G. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC, 2000-2016.
  • MCD43A4 MODIS Terra+Aqua Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance 16-Day L3. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC, 2000-2016.
  • ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA.
  • Land Water Mask Derived from MODIS and SRTM L3. Version 5. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC.
  • Hansen Global Forest Change v1.2 (2000-2014).
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