Growing City / Shrinking Earth

Metro Atlanta Land Coverage

Metro Atlanta Land Coverage

In case you haven’t seen it yet, prepare to have your mind blown, your conscience weighed upon and your day consumed. Google and Landsat have partnered to prepare this interactive map, called Google Earth Engine, that shows in time-lapse photography the changing earth’s surface. What’s particularly alarming, if you’re a child of the suburbs like me, is to watch your hometown develop. In my case, Atlanta.

If you know Atlanta, you know that Metro Atlanta (not the city, as I often defend it) has grown unhinged and unimpeded in the past 30 years. It’s interesting to see that for the most part, it has grown in a radial, almost linear, fashion along major interstate corridors. Makes sense, of course, but watching undeveloped land consumed is rather disheartening. Utile’s hometown, Boston, has faired a bit better than many cities, largely due to its age and land constraints. Still, it’s not immune to it.

So have fun! Watch polar ice caps melt, coastlines get fabricated in the Middle East and retreat elsewhere, and the Amazon slowly deforested. Then go out and ride a bike, and feel somewhat self-satisfied, if you live in a city.

-Drew

http://earthengine.google.org/#intro/v=33.7489954,-84.3879824,9.993788620075321

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s