Map Monday: Google Timelapse shows how SA’s changed in 30 years

Depending on where in South Africa you reside, your surroundings may have seen little to no transformation over the years.

Thanks to Google, we now get to have a bird’s eye view of how our cities, towns, villages and the entire world have evolved over thirty years.

Last week Google released images on Google Earth Timelapse, illustrating its most comprehensive picture of the Earth’s changing surface from 1984 to 2016.

The company first released such images between 1984 and 2013 three years and has updated it with four additional years of imagery. “Leveraging the same techniques we used to improve Google Maps and Google Earth back in June, the new Timelapse reveals a sharper view of our planet, with truer colors and fewer distracting artifacts,” it said.

This was no small task; Google said it used three quadrillion pixels (3 000 000 000 000 000) from more than 5,000,000 satellite images to narrow down to the final results.

“We took the best of all those pixels to create 33 images of the entire planet, one for each year. We then encoded these new 3.95 terapixel global images into just over 25 000 000 overlapping multi-resolution video tiles, made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time,” Google said.

From Antarctica, to the Himalayas, the Sahara Desert and Boksburg, you can zoom in and out to see images of areas, regions and countries.

You can look up images in the Timelapse map below, just type in the country, city or area’s name in the search bar and see the transformation. If you wanna see images from around the world, but don’t want to go through the hassle of navigating, you can see a quick view of images from 39 other countries in the playlist at the bottom.


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