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Photo by Ivan Bandura via Unsplash

Database Provider


Google Earth


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, USA - Northeast, New Jersey, South and Central America, Oceania, Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, California, Nevada, Alaska

Google Earth Engine Timelapse

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  • This interactive time-lapse map lets students explore changes to land, water, or ice in 18 different locations around the world using Google Earth satellite imagery.
  • Images date back to 1984 and include changes in glaciers, lakes, forests, coastlines, rivers, urban areas, and industrial sites.
  • Students will explore changes in Alaska, Las Vegas, California, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Germany, China, India, Peru, Bolivia, Dubai, Alberta, Madagascar, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar.
Teaching Tips


  • Seeing the changes to the Earth from satellite imagery is a powerful way to introduce students to a number related topics.
  • The progression of images can be paused and clicked through at the student's pace.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms deforestation, mining, expansion, meandering, urban, infrastructure, and glacier.
  • Using wireless Internet or a slower connection may take longer for the images to load.


Scientist Notes
The resource presents time series data on glaciation, deforestation, urbanization, coastal expansion, sea rise, mining, and other global environmental problems with a variable time span of 37 years (1984-2020). The datasets used for the images are accurate. Thus, students can explore and get good insights into the spatiotemporal changes in the selected environmental problems. The resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 4.ESS2.2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
      • HS.ESS2.2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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