March 01, 2012, 4:14 PM —
Check out this quick time-lapse video of the city of Las Vegas as it grows from a small desert town in the 1970s to the modern urban city that it is today:
The videos were taken by NASA's Landsat 5 satellite, which today celebrates its 28th birthday. According to NASA, "Landsat data have been instrumental to our increased understanding of forest fires, storm damage, agricultural trends, and urban growth." In this Vegas video, NASA says the large red areas are actually green space, mostly golf courses and city parks. In addition, around 1984, the images got much better, as new instrument designs increased the sensitivity of the satellite images.
In the video, you can clearly see the distance that McCarran Airport was from "The Strip" initially, and now it's practically right on top of Las Vegas Boulevard, as the number of new casinos grew towards the airport.
Pretty cool stuff if you've also seen the growth of Vegas on the ground, not from space.
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