The new Timelapse site, created by Time Inc. and Google, is a pretty amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed since 1984 through 2012. The site offers amazing animations such as the growth of Las Vegas and the shrinking of the Columbia Glacier, and you can point it at any part of the world you want.
Google explains more about how it has collected the images with the US Geological Survey since 2009 and sifted through to find those with good quality, and without cloud cover, over every part of the world.
Here are some examples of what you can see. Deforestation in the Amazon:
The growth of Las Vegas:
The growth in Dubai:
The Columbia Glacier shrinking:
The site itself explains more about these locations plus makes it easy to jump to them and some other dramatic examples through the editors’ picks you’ll see over the Timelapse map:
Note the last box, with the arrow I’ve inserted pointing at it. That allows you to search for any place in the world. I found it interesting to zoom to UC Irvine, my college, and see how much the campus has grown, since I left. I could also see how parts of Orange County, where I live, has had farmland and hillsides replaced by homes.
Unfortunately, you can’t bookmark and share locations, nor can you create animated GIFs of particular areas using the tool. Both features would have helped with the clear mission of the site, to spread the word about our impact on the planet.
Overall, it’s a great tool, either for exploring the dramatic and sometimes scary changes happening in the world or just to see how much a place you know may have changed or not.