Watch a 37-Year Timelapse of Your Town with This Google Feature

The Google Earth tool can show you how the planet has changed over the past few decades.


The planet is old. Like, 4.5 Billion years old. And in that time, Earth has changed and changed and changed. There have been ice ages and the shifting of tectonic plates. Any fifth grade science book can fill you in on most of the details. But even in our more recent history, the planet has been changing too, and, ahead of Earth Day on April 22, an opportunity to reflect on how quickly our environment can change might be beneficial. With this Google Earth tool continuing to add photos to its database, you can get a front-row seat to how things have changed. 

Google has created a timelapse feature that allows you to see how different cities have changed over the last 37 years. In the context of 4.5 billion years, four decades doesn’t seem like that much time, but in the context of real estate development, it does. According to the New York Post, Google used 24 million satellite photos to create the tool.

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Google partnered with NASA, the US Geological Survey's Landsat program, and the European Union Copernicus program to make this project possible. Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab is powering the timelapse feature. Google will continue

Open up your browser (preferably on your desktop) and head to to access the timelapse. You can enter a location on the search the planet search bar, and once you select an address, the timelapse of that location will begin. It’s pretty cool, especially if you feel homesick for a specific time and place. For now, it's the closest we will get to time travel.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.