Google & Time Inc. Launch Timelapse: See How Any Part Of The World Has Changed Over Time


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:

Timelapse_ Landsat Satellite Images of Climate Change, via Google Earth Engine

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • David Temple

    Incredible, altought the deforestation and glacier shrinking are a bit disconcerting.

  • Ross Dunn

    I don’t mean to diminish this accomplishment but is good to see this has finally come.

    Ever since MS Photosynth technology came out I have been waiting for someone (Google or MS likely) to take on the challenge of allowing users to grab a toggle and shift their view to different times of the same location. This is a great step forward to that. Just think of how many old photos there are out there that could be scanned and used to create amazing historical archives. Amazing stuff.

    Thanks for the article Danny.

  • Alan Smith

    It is just amazing and attractive

  • alston lindley

    timelapse is really amazing its giving changing overview of the past world to current world.

  • Dorina Pllumbi

    this is amazing … how can it be possible to have better quality images?

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide