Google’s timelapse tool shows growth of west Fayetteville

This image (may take a few moments to load) shows the growth of Fayetteville from 1984 to 2012 using Google’s Earth Engine timelapse tool.

Staff graphic, Google imagery

When people talk about the incredible growth west Fayetteville has seen over the last two decades, they aren’t exaggerating.

City planners estimate that in 1994, only 10 percent of the city’s 20,000 residential units were located in west Fayetteville. In the 16 years that followed, about half of all new houses and apartments built in Fayetteville were constructed west of I-540. In only a decade and a half, the area had grown to become home to 7,000 – or 25 percent – of all the city’s residences.

During a kick-off meeting to establish the Wedington Corridor Plan, city planner Jesse Fulcher displayed some aerial photographs showing the remarkable growth of west Fayetteville from 1994 to 2010.

A new tool, unveiled today by Google, also helps illustrate that growth.

The Timelapse project uses the search giant’s Earth Engine tool to visualize how different parts of the earth’s surface have changed over the last 28 years.

You can watch evidence of climate change through the diminishing of glaciers in the Arctic, witness the drying of the Aral Sea, or just see how much west Fayetteville has grown in a little under three decades.

Here’s an example of the growth of Las Vegas. You can use the search feature at the top of the page to watch the growth of Fayetteville (or any other location).