Public Lab Research note

Rhode Island Timelapse

by kgradow1 | December 22, 2020 16:17 22 Dec 16:17 | #25310 | #25310


Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has done flyovers of the state for close to 100 years. I went through their database and took screenshots of my neighborhood (Elmhurst / Providence), Jamestown / Newport, and Warwick to see how the methodology and the landscape changed over time.

Source: RIDEM Environmental Resource Map

Dates: 1939 - 2020. Initially, one image every ten years. Then in 2008, it looks like they transitioned to taking them every three years, and then twice a year after 2018.

Elmhurst / Providence

Pleasant Valley Parkway. This canal is just around the corner from where I live. This entire neighborhood has been built out for over a century, looks like not much has changed but the image quality. I mean, obviously a lot has changed, but not the land use maps. You can see the ghost property lines from 2020 overlay.

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Jamestown / Newport

This series is zoomed out a bit. You can really see the stitching.

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Same level of zoom. Same stitching effect.

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Warwick / Cowesett Hillls

But this was an interesting find! This is Cowesett Hills Apartments, which is a 3-story apartment complex with 456 units. Google says this was built in 1973. Assuming this is the same place, you can see how the whole area is built up over time.

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Narragansett / Wampanoag

The whole area is originally Narragansett and Wampanoag land, which I think is also where the name of the apartment complex comes from (Wikipedia says it comes from the Narragansett expression kówaw 'pine tree' + -es 'small' + -sett 'place', meaning 'Small Pine Place). Credit and llink to to explore the area more broadly.

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Wow, @kgradow1 this is really neat - how did you come across this trove of information for where you live? I wonder if any states in the PNW have any similar databases!

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