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On July 23, 1972 the NASA launched into space the Earth Resources Technology Satellite to capture images of Earth. Eventually named Landsat, the program is responsible for capturing millions of images of the Earth’s surface over the past four decades. TIME recently unveiled these pictures in a truly captivating multimedia presentation.

In collaboration with Google, TIME offers an interactive time lapse graphic that allows users to explore cities like Las Vegas and Dubai, oil sands, glaciers and Wyoming coal from a satellite view that stitches together nearly 30 years worth of imagery. According to the written piece that accompanies the graphic (a riveting narrative in it’s own right), “Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth.”

In addition to the graphic, the piece explains the process of compiling and creating the photos used in the time lapse and includes additional videos, photos and graphics to address related topics, such as population booms and melting ice caps. Users can set the time lapse photos to play at a desired speed, creating an experience that is highly engaging and interactive. The photos span from 1984 to 2012, and each global location corresponds with a different ecological issue. –Ellen Collier

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 8:56 pm and is filed under DATA VISUALIZATION, INFOGRAPHICS, PHOTOJOURNALISM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.