Animation Roundup: Rising Sea Levels, Filling Grand Canyon, Global Clouds

  • Sea Levels in Google EarthRising Sea Levels – Using a simple technique of wrapping the world with a sea-level sphere and scaling it bigger meter by meter, ‘Bzoltan‘ (a member of the GE Community from Hungary) has posted a time animation illustrating what might happen if sea levels rose from 1 to 100 meters. Given concerns about global warming, it seems appropriate to be thinking about the effects of sea level. Load the GE file here – it will default to a view over San Francisco. Hit the “Play” button on the time slider (a triangular right-arrow to the right of the slider) to start the animation. Or, just grab the slider and slide it back and forth to see the effects. Check out other coastal cities around the world like New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc. On a related note, Noel Jenkins at DigitalGeography has an educational lesson on rising sea levels using similar techniques (but, without the time animation).

  • Filling Grand Canyon – In a similar fashion, Bzoltan also created an animation showing what it would look like to fill up the Grand Canyon. Given the complex 3D terrain, and the familiarity of the size of the Grand Canyon, this animation seems even more dramatic.

  • Global Clouds Animation – One of my favorite add-ons for Google Earth has always been the addition of current global clouds. I like it even better when combined with the NASA Blue Marble add-on (which includes the clouds in the same package). One of the more innovative 3D modelers, who calls himself ‘barnabu‘ at the GEC, has produced an updating global clouds animation that shows the clouds for the last 10 days. Load the file , and then start the time animation (NOTE: the first time through it has to load the images – 5 MBytes). Very cool animation! ‘barnabu’ now has a web site dedicated to highlighting his interesting Google Earth creations. You can also see the review of his London Eye animation (and a list of other reviews I’ve done of his works).

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. The Grand Canyon actually has been flooded several times over the past million years. Lava flows have dammed the canyon, backing up water as far as current Lake Powell, until the water overtopped the dam and eroded it back down again.
    Plans were underfoot early in the 1960s to dam the Colorado downstream of Grand Canyon NP; you would have been able to take a boat upstream as far as Phantom Ranch. Fortunately, those plans never came to fruition.

  2. smokeonit says

    why is it that the indians [Native Americans] still don’t get good schools in order to get better livelihoods?
    isn’t is fair to give back to them for what we have done to them???
    when i saw the report on video about the tribe that built the sky walk it looked pretty grim for them… the sky walk is more a less a last resort in order to get funds to get better infrastructure and a better future…

  3. Where can I get a simulation or picture of rising water levels in Australia?

  4. If at all possible, I’d like to see a simulation of the rising sea levels for the Island of Montreal and Laval, in the Province of Quebec.
    Would anybody know where to find that?

  5. @Claude Gelinas: From what I’ve read, the sea levels animation uses a sphere – as long as Google Earth knows the terrain heights for the Island of Montreal and Laval, it will show how the sea levels rise there.

  6. If flooding happened in Toronto,ON, bottom floors of CN Tower would be flooded

  7. Simply raising the sea level does not account for changes in inland hydrology. I think rising sea levels may cause rivers and lakes to widen due to the difference in sea level gravitational potential.

  8. Dr Ulta-Lux says

    I have been using this wonderful animation of rising sea levels to look at how my local area of Hobart Tasmania would be affected, as well as others from around the world.
    However I noticed that not only is it not very accurate for my area, but the animated sea level for the Derwent River starts off at 10-14 meters below the actual water level, or infact several meters above the water level in some places.
    Any way this could be easily fixed?

  9. Could filling in some of the earth’s “below sea level” areas with sea water offset the rising sea level?

  10. I think there’s enough empty space between Lord Moncton’s ears to absorb at least one meter of SLR

  11. For sea level rise flood maps see and adjust the sea level height to see the impact on your location.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.