What Doesn't Stay in Vegas? Sprawl. [HD Video]

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Las Vegas has undergone a massive growth spurt. This image series, created in honor of 28th birthday of Landsat 5, shows the city sprawling across the desert. The outward expansion of Las Vegas is shown as a false-color time lapse from all 40 years of Landsat satellite data.

The large red areas are actually green space, mostly golf courses and city parks. The images become a lot sharper around 1984, when new instrument designs improved the ability to resolve smaller parcels of land.

These images were created using reflected light from the near-infrared, red and green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (Landsat 5 TM bands 4,3,2 and Landsat 1-3 MSS bands 4,2,1).

Landsat data have been instrumental in increasing our understanding of forest health, storm damage, agricultural trends, urban growth, and many other ongoing changes to our land.

NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage Landsat, and the USGS preserves a 40-year archive of Landsat images with freely available data over the Internet. The next Landsat satellite, now known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) and later to be called Landsat 8, is scheduled for a launch in January 2013.


Credit: NASA/GSFC/Landsat 5

NASA image use policy.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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Arbor Lux, tskorigami, and 61 other people added this video to their favorites.

View 6 more comments

  1. rhanelt 26 months ago | reply

    LOL, we really are like a cancer.....

  2. goclooney go 26 months ago | reply

    Amazing , how fast the city grows ;-))

  3. Eyesplash - feels like spring 26 months ago | reply

    at that rate the hydro and water needed will be gone in no time flat

  4. dodagp 26 months ago | reply

    Impressive vid, and concept !!!

  5. countertext 26 months ago | reply

    Golf courses. That's all I've got to say.

  6. chrisw09 26 months ago | reply

    That's a lot of development.

  7. jaffles 26 months ago | reply

    Great capture!

  8. meadowmom 26 months ago | reply

    It's metastasizing.

  9. shutterbroke 26 months ago | reply

    What a great idea!

  10. Jason OX4 26 months ago | reply

    Fascinating! And incredibly disturbing...

  11. mtnrockdhh 26 months ago | reply

    Also of interest is the expansion of the Blue Diamond Mine located between the city and Red Rocks, generally right above where the dates are displayed.

  12. Salaatti 26 months ago | reply

    Interesting & amazing!

  13. Pat 2jp 26 months ago | reply

    Nicely done. Great sound-track.

  14. Plant Design Online 26 months ago | reply

    Great job. Of course this doesn't track the insane growth south and east of the city.

  15. Rip Current 26 months ago | reply

    I hate that place

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