Computer scientist Rebecca Moore and her team at Google created Google Earth Engine to enable global-scale data-mining.
Earth Engine brings together trillions of scientific measurements dating back over 40 years and Google gives researchers, scientists, and nations the tools to analyse this data to detect changes and trends.
Using Landsat satellite imagery from 1984 to 2012, the team was able to create half a dozen incredible time-lapse maps that show areas of particularly dynamic change.
The result is jarring.
“You can see the human impact on the landscape,” Moore told Business Insider. “You can see urban development, deforestation, agricultural creation. You can see impacts of climate change.”
You can explore the entire planet on Google Earth Engine here.