TKSST is taking a short summer break. Become a member to support our August return
The Kid Should See This

Google Earth Timelapse 1984 to 2020: Documenting changes to our planet

Time travel from 1984 to 2020 with more than 24 million satellite images and hundreds of curated videos from Google Earth Timelapse.

In partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, Google launched accessible visual evidence of the human-made changes sweeping across the planet. They highlight five themes over the last 37 years: “forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures, sources of energy, and our world’s fragile beauty.” From Google:

To explore Timelapse in Google Earth, go to — you can use the handy search bar to choose any place on the planet where you want to see time in motion.

Or open Google Earth and click on the ship’s wheel to find Timelapse in our storytelling platform, Voyager, to see interactive guided tours. We’ve also uploaded more than 800 Timelapse videos in both 2D and 3D for public use at

great salt lake changes over time
Columbia Glacier Alaska changes over time

You can select any video you want as a ready-to-use MP4 video or sit back and watch the videos on YouTube. From governments and researchers to publishers, teachers and advocates, we’re excited to see how people will use Timelapse in Google Earth to shine a light on our planet.

The following three Google Earth videos provide additional glimpses into the immense changes humans have created across the globe in four decades.

From Our Forests: “Nearly half of the world’s forests have already been cleared or degraded for human use.”

Our Ocean reminds us that “the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the globe.”

“In the last 35 years, the urban population has grown by 2.3 billion people.” Watch Our Cities:

Follow these videos with this: How can nature be used as a tool to restore ecosystems?

Plus, narrated by Sir David Attenborough: How to Save Our Planet, how to save our jungles, how to save our coastal seas, and how to save our frozen worlds.

And, as always, watch more videos about climate change, conservation, solutions, and sustainability on this site, including growing 500 edible plants in a forest and what is the Circular Economy?

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

0 to 100 years in Brazil

Rion Nakaya

Japan’s 72 Micro-Seasons of Impermanence

Rion Nakaya

Natural History Museum, a future imagined by Kirsten Lepore

Rion Nakaya

How can nature be used as a tool to restore ecosystems?

Rion Nakaya

Natural Climate Solutions: How nature can repair our broken climate

Rion Nakaya

Is global warming causing all of these hurricanes?

Rion Nakaya

Why are mangrove trees so important?

Rion Nakaya

Painting and erasing a clock in real-time

Rion Nakaya

Can you solve the time travel riddle?

Rion Nakaya