Google Earth just recorded its most humongous update in the last four years – the new Timelapse feature! And the results are totally discerning of the irreversible impact of man on our environment.
Google Earth has allowed billions of people to climb Mount Everest, take a sneak peek of Area 51, fly above the Mariana Trench, and even spy on neighbors for the last 15 years. This 3-dimensional experience is certainly magnificent.
To make the experience more magnificent and also alarming, Google has added a fourth dimension – time. This new feature allows users to navigate over to any place on earth and witness more or less four decades of geographical change.
Our planet has undergone immeasurable change over the past century like no other time in history. And this change does us minimum good. The cause of this deterioration is no mystery. It is indeed the humans’ doing. No animal, plant, or any other being has taken part in it – at least willingly.
#1 Mylius-Erichsen Land, Greenland
Humanity hasn’t lived long compared to the millennial history of our planet. And yet within just 37 years (1984 – 2020), a very short period of time, man has forever changed the fate of the planet. The impact is so massive that even the places that haven’t been contaminated by human presence are undergoing disturbing damage.
#2 Aral Sea, Kazakhstan
This project has compiled 24 million images of various places on our planet to demonstrate the drastic changes across time. Of the images, ice has melted and never reappeared; forests have been converted to farmlands and villages; nature has retreated at expeditious urbanization, and bodies of water have shrunk to non-existence.
The time-lapse feature is a result of the collaboration of Google, NASA, the US Geological Survey, the European Space Agency, and the European Commission. As Google said in its blog post, timelapse in Google Earth is the largest video on the planet, of our planet, as far as alien observations are unconsidered.
#3 Dubai, UAE
Even in collecting the massive amount of data to bring the project to fruition, Google has adhered to its aim to build a “carbon-free future”. For that reason, they have done the computing inside “carbon-neutral, 100% renewable energy-matched data centers.”
#4 Nuflo De Chavez, Bolivia
Rebecca Moore, Director of Earth Engine & Outreach at Google commented, “Many people think the effects of climate change are far away. With our time-lapses, we have a clearer picture of our changing planet. It’s a must-see feature for all those who are sensitive to this issue, but also for those who doubt the reality of climate change.”
The Earth contains us, life. We made the wrong decisions once and we see the results right in front of our eyes. If we don’t make the right decisions now, it won’t be just humanity that’ll undergo extinction. It’ll be the entire world.