Planet shot to limelight after it acquired Google’s Terra Bella satellite imaging business. The company is now introducing a brand new tool called Planet Explorer Beta. The feature will allow users to  view the changes wrought in earth with the passage of time.

The best part about this feature is the fact that you don’t even need to sign up or login in order to access it. And then, you can check out what any particular place looks like from high in the sky. However, that is not all. You can also check out what the place looked like a month or even a year ago.

So get a load of this: Planet has a network of over 149 orbital satellites that currently make their way around the earth. The company noticed that not only did most every place start displaying visible changes over a period of time, things changed almost invariably across the planet. As far as to how Planet arrived at this data, it is thanks to the fact that the company manages to grab a new snapshot of every piece of land on Earth everyday.

So how is Planet going to turn things around to its advantage. After all, the company is allowing folks to check out images without even logging in! However, the company has limited the use of the images to non-commercial purposes only. What happens next is that some of the users may go and sign up for a free account that will unlock access to not only monthly and quarterly change imagery, but also daily comparisons.

Next up, some of the free users just might go for a paid subscriber-ship that will allow image usage on a commercial basis as well. Of course, it may seem like the model involves a lot of ifs however, the model appears to be pretty sound on the surface.

Meanwhile, it would certainly be interesting to watch the shifting landscapes of the planet.

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