Exploring urban growth in Spain with Google Earth

A few weeks ago, we showed you a neat project from Google that shows the human impact in various cities thanks to various ages of imagery for specific locations around the world.

A similar project has been done showing growth in Spain by using Google Earth’s historical imagery feature and some nice design work to let you “slide” from old to new to see the difference.  Miguel Alvarez has created the non-profit site NacionRotonda.com, which has a collection of sliders to show the urban sprawl that is raising “awareness of the destruction of the territory”.


Miguel has already created dozens of posts to highlight these changes, with more coming out all the time.  He’s using the  jQuery Before / After Plugin from CatchMyFame to create the effect, which can be downloaded for free if you’d like to use it in a project.

Be sure to check out his full site at NacionRotonda.com.  Great work, Miguel!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. A few months ago, I developed a video (using a similar idea) that shows the changes that the real state development has caused in La Manga del Mar Menor, Murcia (Spain). You can check it out on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EChzpBEBHvU

  2. You can also use the “Two Earths” mode in geteach.com and historical imagery. Here is a YouTube video looking at Las Vegas. http://youtu.be/MlAjs2osUO4 using the site.

  3. Hi
    check also my sites with Białystok in Poland:
    1941,1944 (destroyed by Germany) -2011 http://mateuszmalinowski.pl/2012/11/17/fotomapa-bialystok-nie-bylo-niczego-1941-1944-2011/
    1976-2011 http://mateuszmalinowski.pl/2013/02/09/fotomapa-bialystok-1976-2011/
    and other maps (select category).

  4. The name of the blog “Nación Rotonda” (not rotunda) means “Nation Roundabout”, because the icon of the recent outrageous urban sprawl in Spain is the roundabout, used to ornate the inner circle with any stupid so-called art of the local artist friend of the town mayor.

  5. When I used to live in the UK, I took many vacations in Spain in the 60’s and 70’s. I am sad to think how so much of what I enjoyed is being smothered in concrete.

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