In 1984, Ronald Reagan was president, the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, The Los Angeles Raiders won the Super Bowl, and Beverly Hills Cop was the biggest box office hit. Needless to say, a lot has changed since 1984, especially how many of our cities look. Google has recently released timelapse videos of 193 major cities across the world to show how much they have changed in the past 32 years.
Sometimes it’s hard to gauge the degree in which things change unless you can see it in context, that’s what’s so great about these videos. You might remember specific things about the city you’re from, but it’s hard to visualize all of those from ground level. All of the videos below have been shared on Youtube by the Google Earth team, but these are only a small portion of all the videos available. We chose the cities below, as they’re relevant to the construction industry and most have seen impressive growth over the past three decades. If you’re interested in viewing more, there are some other interesting videos of glaciers, rain forests, and bodies of water which can tell an interesting story. You can view the entire playlist by clicking here.
If you want even more interactivity, the Google Earth Engine website allows you to zoom and pan across the entire globe to get the exact view you want. I made the custom video below of several different areas of Dubai using the Timelapse Tour Editor:
Dubai has seen incredible growth over the past 32 years and obviously has an impressive collection of enormous towers, including the Burj Khalifa. I find the amount of man-made islands that the country has created particularly interesting.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
The construction industry has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies, but with a recent push from Silicon Valley, a lot of money is being poured into research and development. Just a few short years ago, robotics on the construction site was thought of as a pipe dream, but now there are several companies around the world that are making it a reality. It still may be years away from being adopted in a large scale, but the industry should begin to take note of the technological changes that are happening around them.
Robotics isn’t the only construction item that made headlines last year, there have also been advances in construction materials, Augmented and Mixed Reality, smart sensors, and RFIDs.
Below is our list of the best advances in construction technology from 2017:
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.
Every year, we search all year long to find construction projects that push the limits on what can be done. Through the hard work of workers in each and every trade, new techniques and technologies are produced to allow us to achieve what was previously thought to be impossible.
Below are 9 examples of projects that pushed the boundaries and were under construction, completed, or announced in 2017. If you have a project that you think is really cool that you think we should include in our 2018 list, please contact us to let us know!
As the world not only becomes more familiar with green products, but also starts demanding them, researchers and contractors alike need to be ready to embrace the ever-changing world and meet their customer’s demands. Each year, new products are released that hoping to reduce waste or harness renewable energy sources, but only some of them reach the mass market.
Below are 8 green products, processes, and stories that we found most interesting in 2017:
In regards to timelapse videos, it was a big year for sports arenas and the city of Atlanta, Georgia. These types of videos have become more popular in recent years due to the wide availability of documentation services available. Not only that, but civilians who own drones have also taking a liking to their area’s construction sites.
Take a look below at our 7 favorite construction timelapse videos from 2017:
The solar photo-voltaic panel installation profession is one of the newest jobs on the construction site. It's also considered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to be one of the fastest growing professions across any industry. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS expects employment to rise 105 percent, when the average is only around 5 percent.
This year saw more videos with environmental considerations taken into account, especially over waterways. Instead of imploding entire bridges, the part that spanned over top of the waterway were manually removed. I've also grown an appreciation for in-depth footage of demolitions that occurred under some interesting conditions. Some of the videos below show some extreme creativity to overcome obstacles.
As open land in cities across the world is becoming harder to find, the tendency to go vertical on buildings is becoming more popular. For the fourth straight year, a record number of buildings 200 meters (656 feet) or higher were built in a single year.