Google announced on Monday that it is celebrating the 40-year anniversary of NASA's Landsat satellites, which have been continuously circling the Earth and collecting data about its surface, by making its images available on Google Earth.
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Images of the Earth taken by Landsat satellites, which have been orbiting the globe every 16 days since July 1972, are now available in the form of timelapse video. Google said it has been working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Carnegie Mellon University to bring the image collection online.
"With them you can travel through time, from 1999-2011, to see the transformation of our planet -- whether it’s deforestation in the Amazon, urban growth in Las Vegas or the difference in snow coverage between the seasons," Google wrote in a post on its blog.
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It is the longest-running record of the Earth's landscape that has ever been recorded. The satellites go from pole to pole, capturing every inch of its surface and collecting data, before it repeats the same process. It allows scientists to monitor how the Earth changes over time and keep track of its health.
The company believes it may be the largest video frames ever created on the web: "If you could see the entire video at full resolution, a single frame would be 1.78 terapixels which is 18 football fields' worth of computer screens laid side-by-side," it added.
The USGS opened access to the Landsat archive for free in 2008. Now, the Google Earth engine makes it possible for the data to be easily accessed.
Google also launched a YouTube that details the Landsat program and how Google Earth was used to archive the photos.
This story originally published on Mashable here.