Photo gallery: Watch Detroit neighborhoods fall into ruin through Google Street View images – ‘The financial crisis has been far more destructive than any other moment outside of the fire of 1805’Posted by Jim at Sunday, March 27, 2016
[The blog is here: GooBing Detroit.]
By Kate Abbey-Lambertz
26 March 2016
(The Huffington Post) – Google Street View’s trove of data and visuals has been used to collect images of streets that made history, of colorful glitches and surreal scenes of oblivious bystanders. For Alex Alsup, it’s a tool to track Detroit’s rapid and continuing devastation following the financial crisis.
Alsup has spent thousands of hours exploring the city virtually. A selection of the images of foreclosed homes he’s captured through Google and Bing’s mapping services is currently on view at Prizer Gallery in Austin, Texas, and closes Saturday.
The chief product officer at Detroit-based property data company Loveland Technologies is quick to clarify that he’s not an artist. He instead described his show, “A Hurricane Without Water,” as archaeological, documenting the impact of foreclosure on properties over time.
Alsup uses Google’s Time Machine feature to look back several years, and returns to properties he saved in past years to compile records of properties year after year, mostly between 2009 and 2014. He started the ongoing project three years ago and publishes it on his blog, GooBing Detroit [“GooBing”, because Alsup also uses Bing Maps].
In the worst cases, you can see vacancy spreading through entire blocks in just a few years, blight taking over empty homes, and foliage growing over the blight.
Before he moved to Detroit five years ago, Alsup assumed the city had been in a steady downward decline since the 1960s and that the worst of the damage had been done.
“It was really surprising and striking to see how much destruction there had been since the financial crisis and to try and unpack what was going on there to cause it,” he said. “The financial crisis has been far more destructive than, I think, any other moment outside of the fire of 1805.” [more]