Skip to Content
Uncategorized

One Thousand Years in Pictures

Movie director Sam Raimi, of Spider-Man fame, wants to set up time-lapse photography of American urban centers–for the next thousand years. Cameras centered above U.S. cities would take one picture every day at noon. In 1,000 years, people could watch…
June 29, 2004

Movie director Sam Raimi, of Spider-Man fame, wants to set up time-lapse photography of American urban centers–for the next thousand years. Cameras centered above U.S. cities would take one picture every day at noon. In 1,000 years, people could watch the millennium speed by in just over four hours, reminiscent of George Pal’s The Time Machine. “You could watch the city of Los Angeles rise, and maybe an earthquake might come in 300 years or a tidal wave,” Raimi says. “It’s the same idea of all time-lapse photography, but over an outrageous amount of time.”

Outrageous is right. It is totally impractical to think that a photo archive could be maintained for 1,000 years, let alone be usable when it is finished. Nevertheless, with some slight modifications, this is a really neat idea. Instead of documenting the changes of already well-developed urban areas for a millennium, why not put a camera over America’s as-yet undeveloped open space for just one decade? That way people could see, in a three-minute film, just how quickly we are devouring the last of the American “wilderness.” Or, in keeping with Raimi’s urban theme, document a decade’s worth of growth for small- to medium-sized cities. The results might have interesting implications for city planning and urban development. At the very least it would be fun to watch.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.