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Video: A satellite time-lapse of Dubai’s transformation over the past three decades

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Dubai, a city located on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has undergone drastic changes over the past three decades. This aerial timelapse, created by Daily Overview’s Benjamin Grant, effectively illustrates the region’s transformation from 1985 to 2000.

Benjamin Grant, who started Daily Overview back in 2013, creates satellite imagery to reveal how humans have impacted the planet. In recent years, he’s also been commissioned to work on special projects for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Facebook.

For a recent series of timelapses, Grant used imagery from Google’s Earth Engine which includes satellite layers from NASA Landsat and the European Agency’s Copernicus satellite. Grant also has partnerships with multiple high-resolution satellite companies to tell other stories from the aerial perspective.

Based on Overview’s best-selling coffee table book, Overview Timelapse: How We Change the Earth, the team has started creating timelapse video clips as a way to tell the story of how either events such as man-made construction or climate change have altered the surface of a particular part of the planet over the years.

‘The recent shift in Instagram from photography to video helped me reconsider how to keep growing Daily Overview’s (@dailyoverview) presence on the platform. I didn’t know how to best use video until I realized these archives had so much potential to illustrate the transformation that’s taken place over the years,” Grant tells DPReview.

‘The book is great, and I’m thrilled we released it, but you don’t get the same effect of looking at the same spot and seeing how it changes over time. Video is definitely the best way to tell these stories. This is a new phase for our project’ he adds. The series has been well received thus far, with the Daily Overview Instagram account gaining more than 50,000 new followers in the past 25 days.


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