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Timelines

June 2020 | By Fabian Oefner in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture

Witness the shocking glacial retreat of two glaciers in Switzerland over the last 140 years. All data and analysis provided by the artist.

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A climate data experiment as part of Heartbeat of the Earth.


Using precise digital coordinates taken from the Glaciology Institute at ETH Zurich's and glamos.ch datasets and connecting these to the Google Earth terrain function to visualise the retreat on the glaciers, artist Fabian Oefner then equipped a drone with powerful LED lights to fly it over the glaciers at nighttime.


Using Google Earth’s 3D feature to find the best angle for the photographs on the glacier, he then shot long-exposure images from the drone flights for each glacial expansion of a certain year.


Combining several dozens of these images together into two single interactive photographs, Timelines shows the lines of the glacier’s dramatic retreat.


Scientific validation: Dr Andreas Bauder (ETH)

The artist interpreted the data from glamos.ch and the Glaciology Institute at ETH Zurich

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