How Have National Parks Changed Over Time?
Viewing photographs of different eras in the national parks can give insights on ecosystem processes, as well as simply change over time. The panoramic lookout photographs provide a window on the past and an opportunity to compare to the present landscapes. Use the slider on the images below to compare amazing panoramic views from Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. How many differences can you see between the 1935 image on the left and the 2008 image on the right?
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Have you retaken panoramic images from National Park Service lookout points using Gigapan or been involved in citizen science related to panoramic lookout photos? We would like to learn your story. Please head over to our contact page to tell us more.
Explore photos that reveal parks transformation over nearly 80 years!
Move the slider to view change over time for a sampling of images from Glacier National Park taken by Lester Moe in the 1930s and Ian Grob of the US Forest Service from 2007 to 2009. Each image notes location, view, and film type.
The numbers on the map to the left refer to the locations of the four views below. Two views are from the east end of the park, while the other two are from the west end.
1 – Looking Glass Overlook, Glacier National Park
2 – Apgar Lookout, Glacier National Park
3 – Huckleberry Lookout, Glacier National Park
4 – Divide Lookout, Glacier National Park
How many differences can you find?
The photos in the Change Over Time series are from slightly different angles and thus some aspects do not line up perfectly. Lester Moe climbed to the top of most lookout towers when he was taking the original photos. Unfortunately, most of the lookout towers that Moe climbed no longer exist, have been replaced, or just have foundations left. The team that took “retake” images from 2005 to 2009 had to make adjustments based on this reality.
The numbers on the map to the left refer to the locations of the four views below. Three views are from the central part of the park and the fourth view (number 3) is from the northwest corner of the park.
1 – Mount Sheridan, Yellowstone National Park
2 – Mount Washburn, Yellowstone National Park
3 – Galatin, Yellowstone National Park
4 – Pelican Cone, Yellowstone National Park
Last updated: May 5, 2018