Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mapping Iowa's Growth

This building age map allows you to see how Iowa City has developed over the last 200 years. Like other building age maps the Iowa City map colors building footprints to show the year when each building was constructed. However this map also includes a couple of other options.

If you press the 'Animate' button on the Build Year of Structures in Iowa City map you can watch buildings being added to the map by year of construction. This gives you a nice sense of how urban sprawl works as new suburbs are added to the city over time.

You can see the same picture of urban sprawl in Dutch cities using the timeline on this Building Age Map of the Netherlands and by using the date buttons on this City of Edmonton Building Age Map.

It is worth remembering that these animated building age maps do not present a true or accurate picture of how city's have developed over time. These maps only show the building ages of current buildings. Older buildings which have been knocked down (often replaced by newer buildings) do not appear on these maps.

The Iowa City map also includes a nice bar chart visualization which shows how many buildings were built in each year. This chart allows you to see the dates of the major periods of development in Iowa City. I understand that you should ignore the 1900 spike in the chart. This spike is probably due to buildings with no known building age being automatically tagged as being built in 1900 in the City of Iowa's data.

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