Watching trees grow in Google Earth

While Google Earth is often used to show past and present conditions on Earth, it’s rarely used to see the future. We’ve seen cool sites like the Blue Marble 3000 and the University of Corsica’s ForeFire, but most focus on showing what we know about right now rather than showing what could happen in the future.
That brings me to Michael Gerzon and his neat idea to use Google Earth to show projections of forest dynamics, both in terms of tree growth and the spread of potential forest fires.


On his site, you can run a few sample demos to see how things work. It’s not using real GIS data at this point, but it’s a neat demonstration and I think it’s the first I’ve seen that shows tree growth in an area.
Expanding the idea out, there are some fun possibilities. For example, you could show what an area would look like after xx years of tree growth, maybe in a new housing development. Combined with 3D buildings, it could be very powerful.
If you see a site that makes use of this (or similar) technology, please let us know.
Nice work, Michael!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Español:
    Deberían hacer una aplicación como Building Maker para colocar arboles en Google Earth, Google lo apruebe (como en Google SketchUp) para quedar seleccionado como modelo de Google Earth en la capa “Arboles”
    Should make an application as Building Maker to put trees on Google Earth, Google approves (how in Google SketchUp) to be selected as a model for Google Earth in layer “Trees ”

  2. Wow, I can’t wait till they make it so I can virtually watch grass grow.

  3. these tree are really dangerous we cannot even find what they grow on them and what can they produce

  4. has been able to get us any pictures or any information. Do you have any pictures or data available of Hachioji district of istanbul

  5. Tajanstveni otok ne znamo kako se zove u originalu, pa je tesko proguglat. Ali HorrorHR se sjetio teksta špice. Zakon, melodija mi je još u glavi!

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