Watch where urbanization sprawls in and around the U.S.’s capital between 1984 and 2010, via NASA Earth Observatory:
Any surface that water cannot pass through—for instance, rooftops, roads, parking lots, and sidewalks—is considered impervious.
The maps above show the extent of impervious surfaces in 1984 (top) and 2010. Areas with the greatest concentration of impervious surfaces are depicted with dark blue; areas with the lowest concentration of impervious surface areas are white.
Here’s a much more dramatic urbanization case study, China’s Pearl River Delta area, where you can see the rapid development of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan between 1988 and 2014, also thanks to NASA Earth Observatory: