From 1984 to 2012, the Central Ohio region has changed in population and in land development, as shown in the satellite images above. To view land use changes in any part of the world from 1984 to 2012, click here and scroll down to the embedded Google Earth map, in which you can zoom and scroll to find your area of interest.
The City of Columbus has grown from 564,866 in 1980 to 809,798 persons in 2012. Land development has expanded out from the city center over that period as well, as can be seen in the satellite image timelapse. In the last decade, however, it appears as though more development has occurred within the inner city ring, which is a promising trend for smart growth.
Google is working with its public and private partners to continue releasing these images to the public in the future. According to Google, this is the most comprehensive photography ever created of the planet. Timelapse videos of this sort could be used as a tool to see the outcomes of sprawl, climate change, and natural disasters over time--hopefully contributing to public awareness about the need for smart land use decisions.