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Google Maps Shocks Viewers With How Much US And UK Cities Have Changed Over Time

Google Maps Shocks Viewers With How Much US And UK Cities Have Changed Over Time

Skyscrapers have been added and the pandemic has reduced the crowds in Times Square...

Laura Sanders

Laura Sanders

Google Maps users have been taking a trip back in time, and are shocked to see just how much some of the biggest cities in the UK and the US have changed over the decades.

While some places have survived, others have moved out, and new skyscrapers have moved in.

If you visit Google Street View on a desktop, there's the option to go back in time by clicking on the timer tool in the top left corner of the screen.

Take a look in the images below.

London Bridge

In the images below, you can see London Bridge before and after The Shard was built. The last Google Street View images without the famous skyscraper were taken in 2009.

London Bridge in 2009. (
Google Maps)
London Bridge in 2019. (
Google Maps)

Construction of The Shard started in March 2009 and it was completed in February 2013. So technically, The Shard was there in the screenshot below from 2009, it just wasn't tall enough to be seen.

You can see the first images of the building in 2012 Google Street View snapshots.

Birmingham - before and after Grand Central Station

This road in Birmingham city centre is unrecognisable now compared to July 2009, before Grand Central was built.

Birmingham before Grand Central station in July 2009. (
Google Maps)
Birmingham Grand Central Station in 2021. (
Google Maps)


Chicago has had some new skyscrapers added to its skyline since August 2007. This spot on a bridge along the River Walk in the city shows the difference between 2007 and 2021.

You can also see how image quality in the Google cameras has improved over the decades.

Chicago River Walk in 2007. (
Google Maps)
Chicago River Walk in 2021. (
Google Maps)

Media City in Salford, Manchester

In August 2008, the site where Media City, Manchester now sits was just a building site. Take a look at the difference between 2008 and November 2020 below.

Salford before Media City was built in 2008. (
Google Maps)
Media City in Salford in 2020. (
Google Maps)

Time Square, New York

Surprisingly, not much has changed in Time Square, New York over the last decade.

Time Square in 2019. (
Google Maps)
Time square in June 2021. (
Google Maps)

But it's interesting to see how crowded it was just before the pandemic in 2019, and just as travel restrictions began easing in June 2021.

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps

Topics: Google, Google Maps