I am planning to show Urban Sprawl over a time period of 10 years. I am need of older Google earth image for the area. Also, let me know about the useful ArcGIS temporal tools for such analysis.

  • If you're area of focus is in the US I would recommend the Cropland Data Layer from USDA (nassgeodata.gmu.edu/CropScape) or the National Landcover Dataset from USGS. These can give you consistent landcover types over time and you can quantitatively assess the area of the landcover types. – Dave-Evans Mar 22 '16 at 14:49
  • You don't necessarily need Google earth imagery--in fact I believe LandSat imagery is even more suitable for the task. It's free, the recurrence interval is rapid (16 days), and because the LandSat spectral range is wider, across 7 bands, there are plenty of approaches for extracting urban/impervious land cover types. – elrobis Mar 22 '16 at 19:06

Since you are asking specifically for Google Earth, are you aware of the Historical Imagery setting? From your GE menu, View-->Historical Imagery. You will end up with a slide bar of historical imagery, which is dependent upon your area. You can slide through the imagery and see the differences in urban sprawl for your area GEHistoricalImagery

|improve this answer|||||
  • True but I was wondering if there are free source older raster images so that I can create a base map. However, with google earth historical imagery I would have to work the tiles of images – ALi Talpur Mar 22 '16 at 15:25
  • Are you looking to create a basemap outside of Google Earth? You may want to update your question to clarify what you are asking for. – MaryBeth Mar 22 '16 at 15:31

Alternatively you can use Google Earth Engine to use landsat imagery. This is one of the longest continuously measured remote sensing datasets. Resolution is 30m so hard to use for urban sprawl in smaller cities.


Add the Landsat TOA composite to your workspace: https://explorer.earthengine.google.com/#workspace

|improve this answer|||||
  • True the Google Earth Engine's resolution is too small to account for the urban sprawl but it's a share though. However, I am not familiar with the use of Landsat TOA composite – ALi Talpur Mar 22 '16 at 16:50

You could also this rather detailed urban extent database: http://www.lincolninst.edu/subcenters/atlas-urban-expansion/global-sample-cities.aspx

They will update the dataset soon (before Habitat III conference) to include 200 cities worldwide

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.