Just weeks after its 40th anniversary, NASA’s Landsat satellite images are getting the Google treatment. The Landsat program, which launched on July 23, 1972, has the sole mission of collecting imagery of Earth. In the past, the decades-worth of images have been used for cartography, forestry, national security, agriculture, and any number of other applications. Now anyone can explore the past 13 years of timelapsed Landsat imagery.
The new GigaPan Time Machine, created as part of a partnership between the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Google, and the U.S. Geological Survey, lets users zoom in or out on any spot and move backwards and forwards through time. Google already has over 1.5 million Landsat images--a number that is continually growing.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the GigaPan Time Machine, Google has put up a number of videos. In the clip above, you can see a timelapsed look at the deforestation of the Amazon. Below, check out Las Vegas’s sprawl as it grows (you can see another version of this here).
Here, you can watch as the Aral Sea dries up, largely because of water diverted to irrigation.
Want to see more? There are dozens of data sets to explore here.