Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Landsat Annual Timelapse 1984-2012
May 10, 2013 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
posted by The Whelk (22 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

This is really incredible. I just looked at the area around Shanghai and holy moly.
posted by theodolite at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is Chernobyl. It's worth pausing this one and stepping through the first few frames one at a time. The staging area (?) for the massive liquidation efforts (over 500,000 workers) blooms in 1987 and 1988, and fades away by 1993. Meanwhile, the city of Pripyat to the northwest of the plant becomes greener and greener, eventually fading into the landscape, like Las Vegas in reverse.
posted by theodolite at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

I love that you can move around on these!

Here, watch mountain-top removal "bloom" in the appalachians!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can see why Wolfram went off the deep end- wherever you look, it's like cellular automata writhing, growing, and shrinking.
posted by Jpfed at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

6th of October City springing from nothing in the desert west of Cairo
posted by theodolite at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2013

I just read the Atlantic Cities piece on this. After showing a half-dozen points of interest and linking to the searchable map itself, they said it better than I could: You can also zoom in to any spot on the planet – your hometown, the Amazon, your favorite Chinese mega-city – and watch the same three-decade timelapse unroll. Good luck getting anything done for the rest of the day.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2013

Between this and Geoguessr, metafilter geography has crippled my productivity.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

Putrajaya, Malaysia's new seat of government, appearing in 1999 like someone flipping a light switch
posted by theodolite at 10:42 AM on May 10, 2013

Here's the GTA. You can see Highway 407 go in as a bright white line that appears in the 90s, the angiogenesis characteristic of malignant growth.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:47 AM on May 10, 2013

This is just like watching bacterial colonies grow on a petri dish (or agar plate). SRSLY.
posted by Mister_A at 10:47 AM on May 10, 2013

See Vegas grow!

There may be some bugs with Google's application or their data; see the difference between 2004 and 2005, and then between 2006 and 2007.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on May 10, 2013

posted by theodolite at 10:53 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Shanghai is mind-blowing.
posted by hypersloth at 11:56 AM on May 10, 2013

doh, first comment. :/
posted by hypersloth at 11:57 AM on May 10, 2013

Anyone know more info about this greening patch along the edges of the Sahara?
posted by evilangela at 12:50 PM on May 10, 2013

welp, that's depressing.
posted by desjardins at 1:18 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

What they ought to do is find a way to superimpose the real estate values on to the time-lapse. That would be super informative.
posted by Renoroc at 2:38 PM on May 10, 2013

evilangela, it looks like that's the Office du Niger, a Malian water-control project.
posted by dhartung at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2013

The Alberta oilsands (Fort Mackay)
posted by Amity at 8:17 PM on May 10, 2013

Check out this barrier island.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 8:56 PM on May 10, 2013

Watch a frac sand mine grow. Trempeleau and Chippewa Counties in Wisconsin, as well as others in the same area, have excellent, fine sand of the type desired in fracking. Under Scott Walker, we're exporting this sand as fast as they can mine it, for pennies on the ton. The one in the center of this view is pretty dramatic, but there's another one to the west that you can see expand as well.
posted by dhartung at 2:10 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Watch the American Landscape Change as Seen From Space, but not nearly as neat as this post!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2013

« Older Greenboy: Prescription for Death...   |   Daily Happiness Averages for T... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments