Comparing RI’s Past and Present

These interactive maps are designed to compare aerial photography in the Ocean State from different time periods. The 1939 and 1972 maps are both compared to a basemap with current imagery to serve as a point of reference.  Aerial photography can be quite beautiful, as can satellite imagery. These are more than just pretty pictures; interpreting aerial photography and satellite imagery is not easy; here is a great article that gives an introduction on how to interpret satellite imagery. With a little training, satellite images become rich data sources. This image shows a ‘spyglass’ of 1939 images from 1939 downtown Providence and another of 1972 Beavertail State Park. The historic images tell a very different story of these places then the current imagery.  Also you can see the elevation differences in Rhode Island by exploring this ArcGIS WebApp.



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