A new satellite tool shows you how the planet’s landscape changes day by day

Read the full story at Smithsonian Magazine.

In August 2021, as the Caldor Fire burned more than 200,000 acres in northern California, satellites captured the dramatic changes to the landscape in real-time.

That satellite data fed into a new Google tool, called Dynamic World, which recognized that an area once covered by trees had been reduced to shrub and scrub. In the days after the fire, Dynamic World’s color-coded map of the region transformed from green, where trees had grown in large enough numbers to be seen from space, to yellow, indicating a transformation to low scrub, showing the devastating outcome of the natural disaster on the land itself.

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