In 1984, the desert in Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia, was empty. Then engineers discovered hidden aquifers—as deep as a kilometer underground—and started turning the sand into tomato and alfalfa farms. A NASA time-lapse video, stitched together from high-res satellite images, shows the transformation.
Google used its Earth Engine platform to build similar time-lapse images of the entire globe, showing how dramatically most of the world has changed in the last 32 years. On the Timelapse site, you can type in an address and watch megacities and mines sprawl as glaciers and lakes shrink.
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