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Environment & Science

Los Angeles, Orange County in time lapse photos from 1984 to today

Satellite image of Los Angeles in 2012.
Satellite image of Los Angeles in 2012.

Google’s new Earth Engine provides annual timelapse satellite images from 1984 through 2012, based on Landsat satellite photos. The Landsat Program is jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, and Google has utilized these images to create time lapse shots that show change in a striking way.

Here in Los Angeles, it’s a bit subtle, but you can watch the city fill out as we get a little bit more packed in.


Los Angeles in 1984


Los Angeles in 2012

Check out time lapse animation of this region from 1984 through 2012 here.

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Some of the most dramatic expansion in the Southern California area over this period of time can be seen in Orange County, particularly around Irvine and Mission Viejo.


Orange County in 1984


Orange County in 2012?

See the full time lapse animation here.

Other interesting time lapse areas featured by Google include the growth of Las Vegas, the deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and the retreat of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska.