clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch Seattle regional development expand from 1984 to 2016

This timelapse video lets you see how Seattle has changed in 32 years.


Google recently updated their Google Earth Engine with four new years of additional imagery and data. You know what that means...people are going to create timelapses to showcase all of that new info.

That brings us to Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Timelapse, a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. They do this thanks to five million satellite images created by five different satellites hovering around the planet. You can see what every spot on Earth looks like from above between 1984 and 2016, specifically noting how much they’ve changed for better or worse (or even both).

They’ve even made a bunch of videos highlighting major cities and interesting regions of the world. Alas, they didn’t make one for Seattle, so we just had to take to the map to see for ourselves what the changes look like in the area.

Let’s compare what the region looked like in 1984 to what it looks like in 2016.

It might be a little tough to see the differences but when you look at the timelapse tool, you can really see the way the neighborhoods and business centers of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and elsewhere have expanded. The areas around Lake Union, Ballard, and Northgate stand out. And watching the greenery on the Eastside disappear over time makes it all feel a bit disconcerting (especially when you realize the region is just getting started).