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32 Year Satellite images Time-lapse Shows the Immense Change of Tripoli, Lebanon

It is no a secret that the past 50 years have seen a tremendous leap and bounds in technologies and (mega) construction. Although everyone is excited about it, this also raises the question, whereto? The idea that out of the thousand years humans have been in this world, only the past half a century has seen an unparalleled spring in materialism (humanism has deplorably spiraled down, perhaps this shows a reversed correlation?). Using Google Earth Engine Timelapse, I have captured how my hometown, Tripoli, Lebanon, has transformed (amorphously) in the past 32 years (1984 – 2016). Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. Here’s the video





Based on screenshot images, you can notice how a massive shift in construction, and destruction of green areas, has taken place at key years, specifically between 2010 and 2016. If 32 years have done that damage to our world, and have drastically increased urban density, imagine the world in the next 30 years. Would you wish your children to live in such a place?

tripoli 1984 timmelaps


Tripoli in 1984



tripoli 1990 timmelaps

Tripoli in 1990



tripoli 2000 timmelaps

Tripoli in 2000



tripoli 2010 timmelaps

Tripoli in 2010



tripoli 2013 timmelaps

Tripoli in 2013



tripoli 2016 timmelaps


Tripoli in 2016

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