Google Apps Tip – Historical Imagery

Historical Imagery – Using Google Earth to see change over time

Historical Imagery is a fantastic, yet often overlooked tool found in the free application Google Earth. This tool allows the user to view a location on the planet at different points in time thanks to Google periodically updating its maps with newer satellite images.

To use, find and turn on the Historical Imagery button in the menu bar. This will display a timeline bar with several white marks spaced along it. Each mark represents a different satellite image taken at certain times. To see this tool in action, check out the MLTI Minute video podcast, episode #187: “Using Historical Imagery.”


  • This could be a great tool to use with students to show the impact and change of the landscape over time as a result of human construction projects within the last 20 years or so.
  • I’ve included two screenshots below of our middle school to show how the landscape has changed since its construction.


Middle School of the Kennebunks in May of 2010 and in April of 1998:


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