See how KL, Beijing and more have changed with these mesmerising timelapse videos

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The Google Earth team have unleashed their latest creation, and it’s one of the most fascinating products they’ve ever done –  especially in Asia where the pace of change and development is sky-high. Timelapse by Earth Engine is a global, zoomable video that lets users see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years.

Here are eight videos showing some of the major cities in Asia and how quickly they have developed (each video repeats the timeframe three times). For the interactive versions, or if you want to check out other cities, including some in the Middle East, Europe and the US, visit earthengine.google.com/timelapse.

1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We’re trying to spot Petronas Towers – can you see them?

2. Beijing Capital International Airport, China

The rapid appearance of the second terminal is like amoeba multiplying:

3. Osaka, Japan

In this video, you actually see the fast rise of man-made islands in the water:

4. Bangkok

The rate of expansion eastwards is frightening:


5. Chengdu, China

The screen changes from predominantly green to brown in a few short moments:

6. Halong, Vietnam

The rate of growth in this UNESCO World Heritage Site is pretty alarming:

7. Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan

Watch how an extra runway appears and juts into the water:

8. Taipei, Taiwan

There’s some serious activity in the river running through Taipei:

These timelapse videos are mesmerising – it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in terms of development. Also, it seems like humans really like building out into sea. Reclaiming land seems to be our forte.

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