AboutZoos, Since 2008


Never seen before – Earth pic­ture as inter­ac­tive time-​lapse

pub­lished 23 June 2013 | mod­i­fied 30 May 2014

Last May Google shared for the first time sev­eral ani­mated GIF’s from a project in which they col­lab­o­rated with NASA, the U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS), TIME, and the CRE­ATE Lab at Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­sity. These ani­mated GIF’s pro­vide a stun­ning his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive on the changes to the Earth’s sur­face over time. They are the dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent of a flip book with images of Earth taken from space over a period of about 25 years.

It all started with a joint mis­sion between the USGS and NASA called Land­sat. The images they took with their satel­lites, called remote sens­ing, were col­lected and archived. Now these images are being com­piled in TIME’s Time­lapse project in which Google’s Earth Engine tech­nol­ogy par­tic­i­pate to make this earth imagery avail­able online.

Google believes this is the most com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of our chang­ing planet ever made avail­able to the pub­lic. It pro­vides stun­ning views on chang­ing land­scapes and insight on pos­si­ble effects of human actions. Fur­ther­more, 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.

A few GIF’s cre­ated from the images taken from cer­tain loca­tions show phe­nom­ena such as the sprout­ing of Dubai’s arti­fi­cial Palm Islands and the retreat of Alaska’s Colum­bia Glac­ier from 1984 to 2012:

Dubai Coastal ExpansionColumbia Glacier Retreat

As the final step, Google worked with the CRE­ATE Lab to con­vert these annual Earth images into a seam­less, brows­able HTML5 ani­ma­tion. An exam­ple is the Ama­zon defor­esta­tion in Brazil from 1984 to 2012:

(Source: Google’s Time­lapse web­site, Google offi­cial blog, 09.05.2013)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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