Google Earth’s biggest change in four years and how it links to IB DP Geography.
Google, making the biggest change since 2017, has added the ability to go back in time to the web based version of Google Earth. With ‘Timelapse in Google Earth‘ you can look back at the past 37 years of satellite imagery in some locations. This feature was a much loved tool on the desktop version of Google Earth and now users can make use of it on (in my opinion) Google Earth’s flagship version – Google Earth on web.
Looking back in time anywhere
If you are already in Google Earth on web you can click on the ship’s wheel on the left hand navigation menu. This is Voyager – Google Earth’s storytelling platform. Then choose ‘Timelapse in Google Earth‘.
Looking back in time at some suggested locations
Google Earth has curated some locations and stories to check out →
Changing Forests – gives you 11 locations – such as soybean farming [Bolivia], cattle ranching [Bolivia] and Palm Oil Production [Indonesia].
- Consider how you could link these locations to “Environmental issues linked with the global shift of industry: food production systems for global agribusiness” from Unit 6 of the IB DP Geography guide.
Fragile Beauty – gives you 8 locations – such as rivers meandering [Bolivia] and changing coastlines [US].
- Consider how you could link these locations to “River processes of erosion, transportation and deposition and spatial and temporal factors influencing their operation” from the Freshwater geographic theme of the IB DP Geography guide or “The characteristics and formation of coastal landforms of erosion and deposition, including wave cut platform, cliff, stack, spit and beaches” from the Oceans and coastal margins geographic theme.
Sources of Energy – gives you 11 locations – such as coal mining [US], solar farms [China] and wind farms [US].
- Consider how you could link these locations to “An overview of global patterns and trends in the availability and consumption of: energy, including the relative and changing importance of hydrocarbons, nuclear power, renewables, new sources of modern energy” from Unit 3 of the IB DP Geography guide.
Warming Planet – gives you 10 locations – such as the Columbia Glacier [US] and Aral Sea [Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan].
- Consider how you could link these locations to “Climate change and the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, including: water stored in ice and oceans, and changing sea levels and changes to agriculture, including crop yields, limits of cultivation, soil erosion” from Unit 2 of the IB DP Geography guide.
Urban Expansion – gives you 10 suggestions – such as Las Vegas [US], Shanghai [China] and Dubai [Dubai]
- Consider how you could link these locations to “One case study of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth” from Unit 1 of the IB DP Geography guide.
Google has also uploaded more than 800 Timelapse videos in both 2D and 3D for public use at g.co/TimelapseVideos. These videos are available for download. You can select any video you want as a ready-to-use MP4 video or sit back and watch the videos on YouTube.
In collaboration with their partners, Google will update Google Earth annually with new timelapse imagery throughout the next decade.
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