Google Earth Timelapse brings 35 years of change to your phone

Use the feature to explore the rainforest or your own backyard.

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown

See how much Earth has changed from your smartphone.


Google wants you to get lost, not literally, exploring Earth. The latest update to Google Earth Timelapse adds mobile support, letting you use your phone or tablet to see how the world has changed from 1984 to 2018. The update also added visual upgrades to make exploring more accessible, said Chris Herwig, Geo Data Engineer at Google Earth Outreach, in a blog post Thursday.

If you enter the coordinates or address of your home or workplace, Timelapse will show how much your location has changed over the last three decades.

If you're thinking on a larger scale, you can explore on your own or tap Google Earth's suggestions and view the bushfires in South Australia, glacial retreat in Alaska, rainforest deforestation or construction projects come to completion. 

Google Earth Timelapse launched in 2016 after Google updated Maps and Earth. The program was intended to show the planet's true colors with fewer distractions.

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