Google Earth is a powerful tool that enables everyone to travel the world from the commodity of their home. Whether it’s the Egyptian pyramids, the top of Mount Rushmore, the sandy beaches of Belize, you name it: a few mouse clicks will take you there.
While this is an amazing thing in its own right, Google recently decided to make Google Earth somehow even more awesome by adding time travel.
With its biggest update since 2017, Google Earth now enables users to witness how certain locations on our planet have changed over the years. The software giant combined 24 million satellite photos taken since 1984 to create “an interactive 4D experience” and simulate the passage of time.
While Google Earth Timelapse is a great way to have some fun and explore the world surrounding us, it can also serve as a painful reminder of how drastically humans altered the planet. You can see our negative impact through changing landscapes, draining lakes, deforestation, and melting icecaps.
Google plans to update the Google Earth Timelapse annually with new images throughout the next decade. This way, it will be possible to see whether humans have learned their lesson.
In the meantime, you can watch one of the Timelapse videos created by Google via the YouTube playlist below.