kottke.org posts about time lapse

Crowdsourced Time Lapses That Help Monitor the Environment

This is a cool thing I had not seen before: Chronolog. Since 2017, they’ve been helping organizations document environments over time by compiling photos taken by visitors, who then get sent information about the area they’ve visited. Here’s how it works:

Changes in our environment are difficult to see and understand because they happen gradually, but long term monitoring projects are expensive and complex. Chronolog solves this problem by connecting communities with land stewards to create crowd-sourced time lapses of important natural areas.

Chronolog’s mission is twofold: First, to engage people with nature in an interactive new way. Second, to keep a record of phenological change for scientific use. By making environmental conservation a collaborative activity, people become interested in participating and compelled by the findings.

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An Animated Timelapse of 200 Million Years of Continental Drift, From Pangea to Today

Millions of years ago, the supercontinent of Pangea slowly started to break apart into the continents we all live on today. In this video from the makers of ArcGIS mapping software, you can watch as the reconfiguration of the Earth’s land happens over 200 million years.

Damn, India slammed into Asia like the Kool-aid Man — no wonder the Himalayas are so tall!

Once, the craggy limestone peaks that skim the sky of Everest were on the ocean floor. Scientists believe it all began to change about 200 million years ago — at around the time the Jurassic dinosaurs were beginning to emerge — when the supercontinent of Pangea cracked into pieces. The Indian continent eventually broke free, journeying north across the vast swathe of Tethys Ocean for 150 million years until it smacked into a fellow continent — the one we now know as Asia — around 45 million years ago.

The crushing force of one continent hitting another caused the plate beneath the Tethys Ocean, made of oceanic crust, to slide under the Eurasian plate. This created what is known as a subduction zone. Then the oceanic plate slipped deeper and deeper into the Earth’s mantle, scraping off folds limestone as it did so, until the Indian and Eurasian plates started compressing together. India began sliding under Asia, but because it’s made of tougher stuff than the oceanic plate it didn’t just descend. The surface started to buckle, pushing the crust and crumples of limestone upwards.

And so the Himalayan mountain range began to rise skyward. By around 15-17 million years ago, the summit of Everest had reached about 5,000m (16,404ft) and it continued to grow. The collision between the two continental plates is still happening today. India continues to creep north by 5cm (2in) a year, causing Everest to grow by about 4mm (0.16in) per year (although other parts of the Himalayas are rising at around 10mm per year [0.4in]).

See also Map of Pangaea with Modern-Day Borders, How the Earth’s Continents Will Look 250 Million Years From Now, and Locate Modern Addresses on Earth 240 Million Years Ago. (via open culture)

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Time Lapse Video of a Massive Lego Build of The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Lego master Jumpei Mitsui spent over 400 hours building a 3D version of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa out of 50,000 Lego bricks — you can watch a time lapse of the construction in the video above. The build was included at an exhibition of Hokusai’s work at the MFA in Boston:

In order to create Hokusai’s Wave in three dimensions, he made a detailed study of rogue waves and their characteristics. He also drew on childhood memories of waves near his family home at Akashi on the Inland Sea.

The video slows down to realtime in spots, so you can see how fast he’s actually building (quite fast). And you can also see the level of trial and error involved as he builds and then un-builds the waves until he’s happy with them. (via the kid should see this)


Relocating a Floating Island

About once a year, boat owners on Wisconsin’s Lake Chippewa gather to move a small floating island from blocking access under a bridge. It’s a simple application of Newtonian physics: the boats all just nose into the island, gun their motors, and slowly shove the island out of the way.

The floating clump of mud and plant material is technically a bog, not an island, but it’s hefty enough to support the growth of trees all the same. Looking at it, you could easily believe it was a fully-fledged island. That is… until it starts drifting around.

“It’s one of the first things you look for when you come out here in the morning; where’s the bog?” Denny Reyes, owner of The Landing in Chippewa, told Arizona News.

The problematic bog is actually one of many, but it’s one of the biggest and close to a bridge that can get blocked when it goes for a wander. In 2022, with the wind on their side, it took around 25 boats to budge the bog and collectively push it back out into the lake.


Beautiful Timelapse of Singapore’s Changing Cityscape

For eight years, Keith Loutit captured hundreds of thousands of images of Singapore, combining the pulsing energy, the new buildings reaching for the sky, and the busy shipyard of one of Asia’s most iconic and futuristic cities into this 5-minute timelapse video.

When we pass by landscapes they appear fixed in time but they change around us constantly. Singapore has gone through an incredible change over the past 8 years, and I have tried to capture as much of this change as possible. There were no permanent cameras used in this film, it required regular site visits over 988 shoot days and over 3300 matched shots.

The video is also available on Vimeo and you can watch two previous Singapore timelapses by Loutit here and here. (via moss and fog)


Eternal Spring, a Timelapse of Ice Melting

Eternal Spring is a short timelapse film by Christopher Dormoy featuring beautiful shots of melting snow and ice. Watching this, it is difficult not to think of the climate crisis, which is of course the whole point.

Ice is a beautiful element I love to work with in my video projects. I wanted to feature the ice melting aspect in timelapse process to illustrate the phenomenon of global warming. Melting ice is beautiful and symbolizes spring, but it can also symbolize a problematic aspect of our climate.

And wow, that shot of the Moon at the halfway point… (via colossal)


Timelapse Video of a Massive Cruise Ship Being Built

So you’ve seen how an 18th century sailing battleship was built. But that was for a vessel 227 feet long that could carry around 850 people. This timelapse video shows the construction of a much larger ship: a modern-day, 1,100-foot-long cruise ship that houses 6,600 passengers. The size of this thing is just ridiculous, bordering on the obscene. It took me a second to realize that the giant thing they were constructing in the first minute of the video is in fact an engine, which, when compared to the rest of the ship, is not that big at all. Make sure you watch to the end to see the oddball paint job on the bow.

See also a timelapse of a second ship of this class being built, which focuses on different details. (via core77)


A Soothing Hour of the Sun

Sure, the James Webb Space Telescope and ok, the Hubble, but the Solar Dynamics Observatory has to be right up there for producing some of the most jaw-dropping space photography around. This 4K video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center condenses 133 days of the SRO’s observations of the Sun into a soothing hour-long time lapse.

See also The Highest Resolution Photo of the Sun Ever Taken, A Decade of Sun, Epic Time Lapse Videos of Mercury’s Transit of the Sun, and Thermonuclear Art.


Arctic Midnight Sun

This 360° time lapse video, filmed by meteorologist Witek Kaszkin in 2015, follows the never-setting Sun in a 24-hour trip around the sky above the Arctic Circle as the icy Arctic landscape is bathed in constant summer sunlight.

See also — and I may be burying the lede here — Kaszkin’s video of a total solar eclipse filmed from the same location. Wow. (via the kid should see this)


Haboob: A Decade of Dust Storms

I’ve featured storm chasing photographer Mike Olbinski’s work here on kottke.org pretty frequently. His latest video celebrates a decade of capturing haboobs (dust storms). Here’s a haboob primer:

Just how do haboobs form? When air is forced down and pushed forward by the front of a traveling thunderstorm cell, it drags with it dust and debris. Winds of speeds up to 60 mph can stir up dust and sand and create a blowing wall as high as 10,000 feet. Haboobs usually last only 10 to 30 minutes, but on rare occasions can last longer and create hazardous conditions for ground transportation systems, air traffic and motorists.


Time Lapse of a Very Busy Day in the Port of Amsterdam

The port of Amsterdam is one of the busiest seaports in Europe. But it gets really busy when there are tall ships from all over the world and everyone wants to get out on the water to see them. This is a time lapse video taken at the 2015 SAIL maritime festival that shows the port absolutely teeming with ships and boats of all shapes and sizes.


Bell Pepper Time Lapse: From Seed to Fruit in 115 Days

Watch as a single seed is plucked from a red bell pepper, planted in soil, and eventually grows into a fruit-bearing plant. I love how plant leaves in time lapse videos always look like they are flapping madly, trying in vain to reach the nourishing light.

This is one of many such time lapse videos on Boxlapse’s YouTube channel — their most popular videos include dragonfruit, tomatoes, and oyster mushrooms.


A Whole Day of Sunlight at the South Pole

From September to March each year, the Sun never sets at the South Pole. This time lapse video, taken over 5 days in March, shows the sun circling the entire sky just above the horizon, getting ready to set for the first time in months. (via sentiers)


One Month of the Sun

Seán Doran took 78,846 frames of data compiled by the Solar Dynamics Observatory over the course of a month and made this absolutely fantastic time lapse of the Sun slowly rotating and burning and flaring. Put this on the biggest, high-resolution screen you can and pretend you’re in the solar observation room of the Icarus II in Sunshine.

See also A Decade of Sun and Gorgeous Time Lapse of the Sun. (via colossal)


Time Lapse of Carnivorous Plants and Their Prey Preparing for Battle

Backed by a soundtrack from Alexis Dehimi that sounds like it’s from a Christopher Nolan or Denis Villeneuve movie, Thomas Blanchard’s short film provides a glimpse into the tiny, dynamic world of plants and insects: “A butterfly in the process of being born, plants in the process of growing, Carnivorous plants in the process of hunting.”

It’s all very dramatic, but never fear, a tender disclaimer in the video’s description: “All insects captured by the plants have been released.” (via colossal)


Time Lapse Map of Covid-19’s Spread Across the US, 2/2020 to 9/2021

Using data from Johns Hopkins, this time lapse video shows the spread of Covid-19 across the US from Feb 2020 to Sept 2021. This looks so much like small fires exploding into raging infernos and then dying down before flaring up all over again. Indeed, forest fire metaphors seem to be particularly useful in describing pandemics like this.

Think of COVID-19 as a fire burning in a forest. All of us are trees. The R0 is the wind speed. The higher it is, the faster the fire tears through the forest. But just like a forest fire, COVID-19 needs fuel to keep going. We’re the fuel.

In other forest fire metaphorical scenarios, people are ‘kindling’, ‘sparks being thrown off’ (when infecting others) and ‘fuel’ (when becoming infected). In these cases, fire metaphors convey the dangers posed by people being in close proximity to one another, but without directly attributing blame: people are described as inanimate entities (trees, kindling, fuel) that are consumed by the fire they contribute to spread.

See also A Time Lapse World Map of Every Covid-19 Death (from July 2020).


Time Lapse of the Changing Seasons of Denmark

In a series of four short time lapse films, Casper Rolsted captures the changing of the seasons in Denmark, from summer (top) all the way through to spring (bottom). I’ve gotta say, the springtime video in particular put a smile on my face — all those flowers emerging from the snowy ground, reaching out for the strengthening sunlight.

See also Four Seasons in the Life of a Finnish Island. (via colossal)

Update: See also David Hockney’s The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods. (thx, phil)


Shadows in the Sky

Always a treat to watch a new time lapse storm video from Mike Olbinski. It’s in 8K as well, so if you have the bandwidth and the screen resolution, this is going to look extra good. You can see more of Olbinski’s breathtaking videos here as well as plenty more cloud content. kottke.org: home of fine cloud products. (via colossal)


Mealworm Feast Time Lapse

This is pretty simple: 10,000 mealworms eating a tomato, piece of corn, and romanesco broccoli, filmed with a time lapse camera. My only comment is that for something called a mealworm, they don’t eat as quickly as I thought they would. 10,000 mealworms couldn’t polish off a tomato in less than 48 hours? You’re never going to be a beetle at that pace! (via the kid should see this)


An 18-Day Time Lapse of the Fagradalsfjall Volcano in Iceland

On March 19, after seismic activity in the area, an eruption occurred in Fagradalsfjall, Iceland, adding a new volcano to the country’s already charismatic geology. Because the ongoing eruption is relatively small, steady, and located fairly close to Reykjavik, it’s been well-documented, both by drone and by live webcam. YouTube user stebbigu stitched footage from the live feed into a 5-minute time lapse of the formation of the volcano that covers 18 days, from the first few hours to a couple of days ago. The night views, with all that pulsing orange lava, are especially mesmerizing.


The Growth of London, 47 ACE to the Present

Ollie Bye has created an animated time lapse of the growth of London from a small Roman town in 47 ACE to the largest city in the world (during the Victorian era) to the massive, sprawling city it is today.

See also Here Grows New York City, a Time Lapse of NYC’s Street Grid from 1609 to the Present, an example of what the creator called “an abstract representation of urbanism”. And a list of the largest cities throughout history — perhaps surprisingly, there have only been two lead changes since the 1820s. (via open culture)


Time Lapse of a Single Cell Growing Into a Salamander

In this six-minute time lapse video, you can watch a single cell grow into an alpine newt salamander. I got this via Craig Mod’s post about looking closely, in which he asks: when precisely does this collection of cells become a salamander?

The very definition of astonishing seems to be embedded in the way the cells move, as they grow from a “knowable” half-a-dozen dots to the millions and billions of the finished product. The phrase “sentience of the swarm” runs through my mind as I watch it. I am delighted and terrified: These little dots in aggregate know so much more than I ever will.


4K Time Lapse of a Boat Navigating Dutch Canals

This is a captivating 4K time lapse video of a boat navigating the canals and waterways of the Netherlands. Infrastructure nerds will appreciate all of the bridges, locks, piers, signals, etc.

I love these sorts of transportation time lapse videos — see a Beautiful 30-day Time Lapse of a Cargo Ship’s Voyage and a Night Time Lapse of the Milky Way from an Airplane Cockpit for instance. The small map in the corner is a solid addition to the genre. (via open culture)


How to Find Comet NEOWISE in the Night Sky This Month

If you live in the US and Canada, you might have the opportunity to check out Comet NEOWISE over the next few weeks with a good pair of binoculars or even with the naked eye. EarthSky has the skinny.

By mid-July (around July 12-15), the comet will also become visible at dusk (just after sunset), low in the northwest horizon, for observers in the mid- and northern U.S. How can it be visible in both dawn and dusk? The answer is that the comet is now very far to the north on the sky’s dome. For those at latitudes like those in the southern U.S. (say, around 30 degrees north latitude), the comet is very nearly but not quite circumpolar, that is, it’s nearly in the sky continually, but it isn’t quite … that’s why we at southerly latitudes will have a harder time spotting it in the evening.

”Comet

It appears this comet is holding up better than Comet ATLAS did earlier in the year. Here’s a beautiful time lapse of NEOWISE rising over the Adriatic Sea in the early dawn:

And a time lapse of the comet from the International Space Station (it starts rising around the 3-minute mark):


A Time Lapse World Map of Every Covid-19 Death

From January to the end of June, over 500,000 people died of confirmed cases of Covid-19. In order to demonstrate the magnitude of the pandemic, James Beckwith made a time lapse map of each Covid-19 death.

Each country is represented by a tone and an expanding blip on the map when a death from Covid-19 is recorded. Each day is 4 seconds long, and at the top of the screen is the date and a counter showing the total numbers of deaths. Every country that has had a fatality is included.

As was the case with the pandemic, the video starts slow but soon enough the individual sounds and blips build to a crescendo, a cacophony of death. The only way this could be made more ominous & upsetting is by including the first song off of Cliff Martinez’s Contagion soundtrack as a backing track. As Beckwith notes in the description: “It is likely a sequel will need to be made.” (via open culture)


A Decade of Sun

For the past 10 years now, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been capturing an image of the Sun every 0.75 seconds. To celebrate, NASA created this 61-minute time lapse video of all ten years, with each second representing one day in the Sun’s life. They have helpfully highlighted some noteworthy events in the video, including solar flares and planetary transits.

12:24, June 5, 2012 — The transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. Won’t happen again until 2117.

13:50, Aug. 31, 2012 — The most iconic eruption of this solar cycle bursts from the lower left of the Sun.

43:20, July 5, 2017 — A large sunspot group spends two weeks crossing the face of the Sun.

See also Gorgeous Time Lapse of the Sun.


Full-Day Rotation of the Earth Around a Stationary Sky

Last year I posted a pair of videos showing a sky-stabilized rotation of the Earth around the starry sky. Because the Earth is our vantage point, we’re not used to seeing this view and it’s pretty trippy.

Now Bartosz Wojczyński has created a video showing full-day rotation of the Earth with footage shot in Namibia. The rotation is sped up to take only 24 seconds and is repeated 60 times to simulate about 2 months of rotation. I find this very relaxing to watch, like I’m riding in a very slow clothes dryer.

See also The Entire Plane of the Milky Way Captured in a Single Photo.


Time Lapse of a Sunflower Growing from Seed to Flower

Starting from a seed, a sunflower plant grows, flowers…and then wilts. I’ve always thought these kinds of videos were wonderful, but given recent events, they are hitting with an extra poignance. Or maybe hope in a strange sort of way? I don’t know what one is supposed to be feeling about anything these days.

In this other sunflower time lapse, you can more clearly see the little seed helmets worn by the tiny plants soon after sprouting. Cute!


Cycling Through All the Streets of London

Over a period of four years, Davis Vilums cycled every street in central London. A map and a time lapse of his journeys:

”London

Including some irregular times off, overall it took me four years to visit every single road on the map. When I started this hobby, it took me 30 to 40 minutes to do the route. Later it expanded to 2 hours to get to the office when I tried to reach the furthest places on my map. One of the main goals was never to be late for work. From the beginning, I planned to visit not only the main roads but every single accessible mews, yard, park trail, and a path that was possible to go through. I used Endomondo app to have a proper record of my journeys and proof that I have been there. After every trip, I prepared my next route in Google maps where it was easy to adjust streets to the next ones and mark points to revisit if I missed something.


Time Lapse Visualization of How 10 Satellites Build a Daily Global Precipitation Map

The first 30 seconds of this time lapse video provides a great look into how the 10 satellites that make up the Global Precipitation Measurement Constellation scan the surface of the Earth to provide daily global precipitation maps.

This visualization shows the constellation in action, taking precipitation measurements underneath the satellite orbits. As time progresses and the Earth’s surface is covered with measurements, the structure of the Earth’s precipitation becomes clearer, from the constant rainfall patterns along the Equator to the storm fronts in the mid-latitudes. The dynamic nature of the precipitation is revealed as time speeds up and the satellite data swaths merge into a continuous visualization of changing rain and snowfall.


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