Celebrate GIS Day With These GIFs Of Australia's Greatest Geographical Transformations

In case you didn't already know -- why didn't you already know? -- today is Geographical Information Systems Day, a day to celebrate the existence of services like Google Earth, Nearmap and other geographic science technologies that help architects, engineers, city planners and all kinds of businesses in the way they develop the world around us. Australia has seen its population grow by a million people in three years, and Nearmap has captured some of that transformation from a bird's eye view.

Nearmap says that because of this population boost, half of all Australia's building approvals over that period were for high-density, high-rise apartments and units. Much of the other half were for brand new suburbs, greenfields areas like Point Cook in Victoria and Greater Springfield in Queensland. In the last five years, too, the cultural capital of Sydney has seen massive development around Barangaroo and the White Bay power station precinct. So, in the spirit of GIS, Nearmap has created some high-res GIFs of those developments, month-by-month:

Words: Nearmap

Elizabeth Quay, Perth: In 2012, the Perth Government set out to redevelop Elizabeth Quay. Its aim was to reconnect Perth’s city with the Swan River and provide much-needed hotel, commercial, residential and retail accommodation. Three years on, and the construction is firmly underway. While it still has a fair way to go before completion, it’s easy to see how the development will change the whole face of Perth’s CBD.

Crace, Canberra: The suburb of Crace, Canberra, holds the title of Australia's fastest-growing area, with a 57 per cent increase in population in 2013-14. The urban project to transform Crace into a top growth hot spot started in 2009 and has since reported $112 million in new dwellings.

Point Cook, Victoria: Point Cook is one of Melbourne’s newest suburbs, developed around wetlands along the coast of Port Phillip. Inspired by Manhattan, it’s quickly becoming a hotspot for investors and mega mansions. Only 30 minutes away from the CBD, and with all the latest facilities, it’s easy to see why it's so popular. However, the development is still a long way off. Over the next ten years, new retail developments, infrastructure and schools will be completed, transforming this once rural land, to prime real estate.

Greater Springfield, Queensland: Greater Springfield is Australia’s fastest emerging new city. The $32 billion development is positioned as the gateway to the western corridor of south-east Queensland. At 2,860 hectares it is the largest master planned city in Australia and the first city of its kind since Canberra. Over the past few decades the area has transformed from rural farming to a vibrant community. Construction is still ongoing, however by 2030 it hopes to be home to approximately 105,000 residents.

Sydney Harbour’s Foreshores - Barangaroo and White Bay Precinct: Sydney’s Harbour has experienced a massive facelift over the last five years. Most notably, we saw the rise of Barangaroo - turning a once barren concert pit to a nature reserve - and the redevelopment of the White Bay Precinct. While both are yet to be complete, the transformation of these areas are changing the face of Sydney harbour.

There are a few GIS Day activities on around Australia today; check them out if you'd like to learn about geographical infoscience and possibly snag a piece of free cake. [nearmap / GIS Day]