If you live in one place for some time, odds are you will see things change. Montana is one place that has seen some major changes over the past 70 years. We have seen an increase in population and have seen towns, cities and the landscapes change.

The Entire West Has Changed, Not Just Montana

Some of the changes we have seen have been subtle and some have been pretty dramatic. It's one thing to see a new store open, or maybe a new school pop up here and there. It's another thing to see entire neighborhoods transform. There is new technology that let's you see just how much our state has changed, not only in Montana but across 17 states west of the Mississippi.

Satellite Views of Missoula from Landscape Explorer
Credit: Landscape Exlplorer.org

The Landscape Explorer

The University of Montana, along with Working Lands For Wildlife, Montana NRCS and Intermountain West Joint Venture, have worked on a project called the Landscape Explorer. They have created a website with an interactive map that shows early satellite images from 70 years ago side by side with more modern images. It shows the dramatic changes that have taken place in the western part of the U.S. over the years.

You Can Check Out Your Own Montana Neighborhood

The website can look at a both a broad picture of the changes in the west, but it allows a person to zoom in and see changes that have happened as close as your own neighborhood. To see the transformation of Montana and the surrounding states is not only informative and educational, it is also interesting to have a glimpse of how much our world has changed and continues to change.

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