Google Earth is already a powerful tool for observing our planet, but today it’s getting a major upgrade with the introduction of a new 3D time-lapse feature.

Described by Google Earth director Rebecca Moore as the biggest update to Google Earth since 2017, Timelapse in Google Earth combines more than 24 million satellite photos, two petabytes of data, and 2 million hours of CPU processing time to create a 4.4-terapixel interactive view showing how the Earth has changed from 1984 to 2020.

While Google Earth did have a simplistic time-lapse option before, the new feature represents a major upgrade with full 3D coverage of the entire globe. Users can pick practically any place on the Earth, change camera angles, and select a specific year they want to see.You can access Timelapse in Google Earth simply by going to or hitting the Ship’s Wheel icon in Google Earth and selecting Timelapse, with Google also providing more than 200 spotlights and guided tours for specific locations like Las Vegas, Kuwait City, and the Columbia Glacier in Alaska. And if that’s not enough, Google has uploaded more than 800 additional time-lapse videos meant for public use here, which can also be downloaded for free or viewed on YouTube.

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