Friday, January 03, 2020

Ten Years of Paving Paradise

The New York Times has teamed up with Descartes Labs to visualize A Decade of Urban Transformation in the USA. To find newly developed areas Descartes Labs trained a neural network to identify newly built (either newly paved or new buildings) areas in satellite imagery. It did this by comparing satellite imagery from 2009 with imagery from 2018 & 2019.

The result of the NYT analysis shows that the last decade has seen significant amounts of development, particularly around major metro areas. Some areas of the United States have seen more new urban development than others. Texas has seen some of the highest levels of new development and 9 out of the top 20 most developing counties are in Texas.

The New York Times article is illustrated with a map showing land in the U.S. which has been developed in the last decade. It also includes a number of before and after satellite images of areas which have been developed in the last ten years. Part of the NYT's closer examination of areas being developed looks at the effect the growing tech industry has had on the development of some cities. These include the expansion of Amazon in Seattle, the developments by Apple in Cupertino and the building of numerous large Amazon facilities across the United States.

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