Watch the rise of major city skylines, decade by decade, in these 3D animations

cube cities animation image
Video screen capture Cube Cities

Ever wondered when buildings in major cities became part of the skyline? Or how rapidly now-familiar skylines appeared? These video animations are an amazing glimpse at the growth of several major cities.

Gizmodo writes, "The 3D flyover renderings were created by a real-estate company called Cube Cities, out of Calgary. The company has made heavy use of Google Earth imagery to give their clients a better visual understanding of commercial properties within urban environments. These particular videos utilized construction data to show when buildings of major cities cropped up over time."

The Atlantic Cities states, "Developers used the video project to play around with representation models, so each of the videos use slightly different methods to indicate new buildings. In a particularly cool effect, the San Francisco animation begins with clear outlines of the current skyline, and viewers watch as the phantom city turns solid as time moves forward."

As the one of Manhattan teases, it would be amazing to have animations that show what once was, centuries before building ever began, then see how things shifted over time including in the surrounding wild ecosystems, such as shifts in species presence and density for both flora and fauna.

Meanwhile, we have the last 90 years or so of skyline, and an image of how that has grown. What's interesting is comparing the rate, size, spacing and other features of different cities. Seeing the animations individually is interesting, but watching them as a group is fascinating.

Tags: Architecture | Technology

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