This is simply amazing and may well be the most addictive thing that you watch on your computer today.
It’s Google’s Timelapse resource.
Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time.
Consequently, I spent way too much time looking at the growth of one of the areas in Ontario that just seems to explode – Toronto!
If you can work Google Maps, you can use Timelapse. Start with the default location and move the map around or zoom in and out to get to your location. Or, simply type the address of concern in the search box in the top left and away you go.
Look a little wider and check out the activity near the airport.
That’s just a start.
You don’t have to limit your exploration to the big city.
Pick a place, any place, and watch it change over time.
I took a look at my high school. When I taught there, we were just this lovely little campus surrounded by corn fields. It’s amazing to watch it grown into the place that it is today with access to the new community centre. As you drive along Laurier Parkway, you can see the fire hydrants already in place as a sign that this is where housing is planned for the future. It will be interesting to run the simulation again in ten years as development continues.
If you’ve ever wanted a bird’s eye view (albeit a very high flying bird) of the growth of humanity, this is it. You have to check out Google Timelapse.