Making a planet-sized timelapse video required a significant amount of what we call “pixel crunching” in Earth Engine, Google's cloud platform for geospatial analysis. To add animated Timelapse imagery to Google Earth, we gathered more than 24 million satellite images from 1984 to 2020, representing quadrillions of pixels. It took more than two million processing hours across thousands of machines in Google Cloud to compile 20 petabytes of satellite imagery into a single 4.4 terapixel-sized video mosaic — that’s the equivalent of 530,000 videos in 4K resolution! And all this computing was done inside our carbon-neutral, 100% renewable energy-matched data centers, which are part of our commitments to help build a carbon-free future.
Google says throughout the next decade it will update Google Earth annually with new Timelapse imagery.
To explore Timelapse in Google Earth, go to g.co/Timelapse and use the search bar to choose any place on the planet where you want to see time in motion. Click on the ship's wheel to see interactive guided tours. Additionally, Google has compiled over 800 Timelapse videos in both 2D and 3D for public use at g.co/TimelapseVideos.