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News hardware & software 16 April 2021, 21:24

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Google Earth Just Received a Massive Update, Timelapse Option Available

Google Earth just got a big update, and with it the Timelapse feature. This enables us to see how the place of our choice on Earth has changed over the past 37 years.

Google Earth has received a major update, the biggest since 2017, which added an important new feature: Timelapse. True to its name, the feature enables you to witness the passage of time in a selected location through 24 million satellite images collected over the past 37 years. The service also includes over 800 time-lapse videos, both in 2D and 3D.

Timelapse was created in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab, which developed the technology necessary to implement the project, as well as with the support of NASA and the Landsat (USA) and Copernicus (EU) programs. The function required processing 20 petabytes of data, which translated into more than 2 million hours of work by thousands of Google Cloud machines. The result is a gigantic video mosaic, 4.4 terapixels in size, which, according to Google's blog, is the equivalent of 530,000 videos in 4K resolution.

Google makes no secret of the fact that one of the motivations of the creators of the project was the desire to show the changes on Earth, which are much talked about but difficult to realistically imagine. In the end, this translated into five main topic and virtual tours devoted to them in the form of presentations: changes in forestation, urban development, rising temperatures, energy sources and the fragile beauty of the Earth. However, nothing stands in the way of using Timelapse to trace the history of a location closer to us. Just visit the official website of the feature. What's more, Google Earth's YouTube channel features 500 3D and 2D timelapse videos, such as this video showing the development of Dallas Fort Worth, Texas and its surroundings.

  1. Google Earth - official website

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Passionate about video (and other) games for years, he completed an Mba in linguistics, defending a thesis about games. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in 2015, writing in the newsroom, later also covering film and – oh, horror! – technology (also contributor to the gaming encyclopedia). He started with platformers, which he still dearly loves (including metroidvania), but he's also interested in card games (including 'analog'), brawlers, soulslike games and basically every other type of game. Don't ask about the graphics – after a few hours of exposition, he can be delighted with pixelated characters from games that remember the days of the Game Boy age (if not older).


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