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View a map over time

Google Earth automatically displays current imagery. To see how images have changed over time, view past versions of a map on a timeline.

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Find a location.
  3. Click View and then Historical Imagery or, above the 3D viewer, click Time Time.

Tips

  • You can zoom in or out to change the start and end dates covered by your timeline.
  • The time slider is not available when you record movies.
  • If you select more than one data set, the time slider shows the collective time range of all the data sets.

Import data to view a map over time

Import GPS tracks from a specific time period or other data that contains time information to view images in a timeline.

  1. Import the GPS data or other time-related data.
  2. In the Places panel, select the data you imported. The time slider will appear at the top of the 3D viewer with a time range that corresponds to the data you selected.
  3. The lines on the timeline indicate the dates when images of your map are available. To explore different time periods:
    • To change the length of time, drag the range marker to the right or left.
    • To make the time range earlier or later, drag the time slider to the right or left. The range marker moves with the time slider so that the time range shown remains the same.
    • Zoom in to shorten or zoom out to lengthen the date range covered by your timeline. The Start and End dates on the timeline change.

Change the time of day

You can view the effect of the sun and sunlight across the landscape.

Turn on the sunlight feature

Click Sunlight Sunlight. You can see the current level of sunlight in your current location.

Note: The time slider appears.

  • To change the timezone: Drag the time slider left or right. Depending on your location and time of year, you can view the sunrise or sunset while looking east or west.
  • To display an animation of sunlight across the landscape: Click the time slider play button.
  • To hide the sun: Click Sunlight Sunlight.

Note: This feature often produces dramatic effects when you are viewing hilly or mountainous terrain.