Time-lapse satellite images show how Earth has changed over 28 years

Chances are, this is how you will be spending the rest of your day. Google Earth Engine is an incredible satellite tour through the recent history of our planet, showing year-by-year images from 1984-2012. Watch as cities expand, glaciers retreat, and seas vanish in a matter of decades.


Google Earth Engine uses composites of annual Landsat images to create these amazing views of how the world has changed over the last 28 years. Google offers a handful of suggested time travel destinations, but you can look up any place you like—your hometown, places that have endured natural disasters, places that have been altered by human hands and by nature. Here are a few of the Google Earth Engine greatest hits—up top you can see the progress of irrigation in Saudi Arabia. Let us know what other hot spots you find!


Amazon Deforestation

Drying of the Aral Sea


Columbia Glacier Retreat


Dubai Coastal Expansion


Growth of Las Vegas

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Just watched my hometown grow. It's fun seeing bridges appear out of nowhere.

Holy urban crawl Batman!

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