What it is: Timelapse is an incredible visual satellite timeline powered by Google. Timelapse is about as close as you can get to a time machine, if that time machine hovered above the earth and gave you a bird’s eye view of development and change. Students can choose from some highlighted Timelapse views including: Las Vegas, Dubai, Shanghai, Oil Sands, Mendenhall Glacier, Wyoming Coal, Columbia Glacier, and Lake Urmia. Alternatively, students can use the search box to view a satellite timelapse of any place in the world. Students can change the speed of the timelapse, pause the satellite imagery, and zoom in or zoom out. The imagery begins in 1984 and goes through 2012.
How to use Timelapse in your classroom: Timelapse would be a fantastic way to begin an inquiry unit. The site itself sparks lots of questions. Depending on the location, students may inquire into climate change, history, development, expansion, human impact on land, satellites, etc. Timelapse could also be used in science classes and history classes. This is a great tool for students to use to analyze and evaluate visual data.
Timelapse would be a neat way to explore history of the world from a completely different perspective. Students could use Timelapse as a creative writing prompt to imagine the world from a new perspective. What changes when you aren’t down in the midst of life on earth? Do problems appear different? Does success get measured differently?
Tips: Below the Timelapse map, students can read about how satellites are used to capture the imagery they are exploring. Well worth the read! It is also separated into “Chapters” that each tell a larger story about the featured Timelapses.