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10 May 2013

The Earth's shifting surface

See how dramatically the face of the Earth has changed over the last 25 years with this amazing interactive timelapse project.

Millions of satellite images taken over the last quarter century have been cleverly combined to create a timelapse map that gives an astonishing perspective of our shifting planet.

From deforestation in Brazil to the Columbia glacier retreat in Alaska, the zoomable maps reveal sometimes frightening environmental changes. 

Powered by Google Earth Engine, the project is a collaboration between Google, Time, Nasa and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It also forms part of Time's new timelapse project.

Rebecca Moore, engineering manager, Google Earth Engine & Earth Outreach, says: "We hope it can inform the global community’s thinking about how we live on our planet and the policies that will guide us in the future."

We sifted through 2,068,467 images for every year since 1984 and for every spot on Earth.

- Rebecca Moore, engineering manager