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Earth Science

Zoomable World Videos of Satellite Imagery For the Last 29 Years 42

New submitter simonff writes "Yearly composites of 30-meter Landsat imagery were used by Google and Time to produce zoomable, scrollable videos of changes in land surface since 1984." So now you can watch glaciers shrink and Vegas gobble up the desert, in what we're all lucky is not real time.
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Zoomable World Videos of Satellite Imagery For the Last 29 Years

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  • I just put in the Gobi Desert, and watched it getting smaller... What an interesting project. I bet a lot of researchers can use that kind of info.

    • by pavon ( 30274 )

      Okay, I must be blind. Where is the link to the site where you can choose what to look at? All I can find are the four canned videos.

      • I see "DUBAI" "COLUMBIA GLACIER" "THE AMAZON" "LAS VEGAS" "EXPLORE THE WORLD" at the bottom of the page... It's the last one that leads to a page where you can search anywhere you want.

        • by pavon ( 30274 )

          Weird, I don't see that last link. I even searched the page for "explore" and got nothing. I tried with the lastest version of Firefox on windows, Iceweasel 10 & Chromium 6 on Debian.

  • But this is geologic real-time!
  • Heavily REDACTED Zoomable World Videos of Satellite Imagery For the Last 29 Years

    j/k I doubt its been scrubbed considering the source (and potentially the resolution, I didn't RTFA).

    Also Landsat is a great program. Being able to get satellite imagery real time from them as a ham radio operator was really cool.

  • Am I the only one that thinks this is a complete pile of doctored crap? While it is amazing to see the time lapse of Dubai coming out of nowhere, it is very difficult to see anything at all! Google made a claim to have "X-amount of super hd screens per frame", does that explain why approx 4 pixels per mile change in a year? Where is the detail? Why can't we zoom in? If Google & Time went to such effort to show us this, then why aren't they showing us? Not being ridiculous but given the original material
    • Re:What a load of.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by flayzernax ( 1060680 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @01:52PM (#43677235)

      Landsat wasn't meant for high res spying. Its a very functional site. You can even put in Groom, Lake Nm and get something other then a big black square. I found that time lapse interesting =) It shows the facility is still active and there's development in one of the restricted airspace areas south-east ish.

      I'm really impressed with how fast it searches to a location. You can pause the play through at any given point.

      Have fun with it =)

    • Huh...?

    • by JWW ( 79176 )

      Landsat pixels are 30m. It is a moderate resolution satellite, not a high res one.

      Its a tradeoff, you get better time coverage and a larger viewing area with larger pixels, you get worse coverage and a smaller image with smaller pixels but better detail.

      Also other factors affect coverage, which in the best case is once every 16 days. So a few cloudy days or gaps in the data and the pixels won't change very fast.

    • by Genda ( 560240 )

      Am I hearing "This is threatening my world view" in the background? It's a satellite view, the satellites available in 1984 had a dramatically lower resolution than the amazing birds flying today... sheesh!

      The key point here is that you can easily see important medium to large scale changes to the earth's surface. Glacial retreat, human development, the strip mining of Canada for tar oil and the Amazon for resources. Anybody not familiar with these events over the last 30 years has either had their head bur

  • by Mike Frett ( 2811077 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @01:45PM (#43677137)

    Looks like some time lapse of larvae consuming road kill. Is this what Humanity has become, a Virus?. Check out Shanghai, the whole thing just blossomed out; consuming all vegetation and life in it's path. Some scary stuff, but still cool.

    • Some interesting cities to check are probably Salt Lake City UT which grew a lot the last two decades. Maybe Tampa FL as well.

      We are indeed a carbon based infestation of the creators home world. But whether thats good or bad is not for me to judge.

      • Or Detroit, which would look like Sim City 2000 on Cheetah speed when you raise the taxes to 20% and sell the sole power plant, lol.
  • by mayko ( 1630637 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @02:49PM (#43677939)
    I'm surprised they don't mention the Aral Sea. Once the 4th largest lake in the world... the time lapse is pretty staggering to watch.
  • Time lapse of city growth always looks quite like time lapse of mould... Just saying.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?