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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Re-Visualizing Time

Re-Visualizing Time

Tibetan Plateau rivers & mountains visualization, 1984-2016 (credit: Timelapse & Landsat-8/Copernicus satellites)


The capacity to view a landscape or other environment over a timeline offers an excellent perspective on undertanding changes that unfold slowly. Re-photography is a perfect tool for such purposes. Google Earth, using Landsat and other satellite images, produced an animation, to show how locations have changed over many years.

Satellite images were acquired above the same landscape and then combined into a 32-year time-line of the location. The visualizations were created by Timelapse, a Google project. The program manager commented that his team reviewed in excess of 5,000,000 satellite images gathered by NASA, the European Space Agency, USGS, and other research agencies during that time period: 

For this update, we had access to images from the past, thanks to the Landsat Archive, and fresh images from two new Earth-monitoring satellites, Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2.

Tools like re-photograpy and Timelapse are critical, 'facts-based', components for environmental research. The visualizations can provide a deeper understanding, often better than words, of events that unfolded over time due to climate change, and accelerating in 'real time' now. WHB

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