Australian Urban Expansion

Australian cities and towns are constantly evolving to suit the living requirements of an ever growing population. Australia’s current population of more than 22 million in 2011 has grown significantly from approximately 15 million in 1981 with the majority of population growth occuring in Australia’s urban environment.

This satellite image gallery shows the expansion of Australia’s major towns and cities in every State and Territory since the 1980’s. Residential expansion, new infrastructure (such as freeways), and changes in environmental features including reservoirs and dams can all be seen through comparison ‘swipe’ imagery.

Geoscience Australia and its predecessor agencies have been acquiring satellite imagery for over 30 years resulting in an Australian Government collection continaing more than 400 000 images. The diversity of uses for this information ranges from environmental monitoring and management, to directing emergency management agencies and assisting border protection control.

This Urban Expansion Satellite Image Gallery displays both true and false colour images from the Landsat series of satellites comparing before (top image layer) and after images captured over a +20 year period. These images are also provided in high resolution JPEG format and may be freely reproduced on the condition they are accompanied with the accreditation shown in the caption for each image.

Further enquires regarding the use of these images can be sent to

Topic contact: Last updated: March 18, 2013