Raleigh Development History Revealed

March 1, 2015

The data visualization shown was created by Lift Aerial using City of Raleigh and Wake County open-source GIS Data.  The parcel data was sorted by the date of original development, which reveals a number of historical and temporal patterns over the city's lifespan.


The map above shows Raleigh (Inside the Beltline).  The blue tones indicate parcel development prior to 1950, with the darkest blue shade indicating development prior to 1910.  Gray shades indicate post-war development, with the lightest shade indicating development after 1975 (large parcels like NCSU left blank for clarity).  One can easily identify Raleigh's historic core, as well as it's well-preserved turn-of-the-century neighborhoods of Oakwood and Boylan Heights adjacent to Downtown.  The neighborhoods of Five Points and Cameron Park to the northwest of Downtown developed soon thereafter.  It is also interesting to see the historical fragrmentation of Raleigh's other vital neighborhoods in South Park and East Raleigh.  Similar to other Southeastern cities, a macro-level context reveals the scale of rapid suburbanization over the past half century.  


*Parcel data only partially tells the historical story and is only accurate at a large scale.  Tying historical data to building footprint GIS data can paint a more valid portrait of a city's history at the neighborhood level, as Justin Palmer recently did for the City of Portland.  While the City of Raleigh and Wake County have some of the best open-source urban data in the country, this small added detail would be a welcome addition.  


Jordan Petersen, LEED AP

Founder, Lift Aerial Marketing

Site Designer, ColeJenest & Stone

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Lift Aerial Marketing, LLC is a full-service aerial imagery company located in Raleigh, NC.  We offer a dynamic range of photography, videography, digital editing, and marketing services for public and private clients ranging from government agencies, contractors, architectural design firms, developers, real estate brokers, and other clients.  

With our versatile fleet of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, we were one of the first established companies in the Southeast and hold all commercial UAS permits, including an FAA-issued Remote Pilot's License under compliant with Part 107, and NC UAS Commercial Operators Permits (C0000831), and also carry specialty UAS aviation liability insurance ($1M limits). 

For additional legal information and documents, see our legal page.  Please contact us with your project details for more information and pricing.  

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Founder |  Jordan Petersen 

Director of Operations | Joe Hollowell


Raleigh, North Carolina 

p:  919.926.9667 or  919.818.8044

Mail: info@liftaerial.com


© 2014 by LIFT Aerial Marketing, LLC

All content and images shown are not for commercial purposes, copyright © Lift Aerial Marketing, LLC, all rights reserved. All photographs and videos herein are the property of the photographer and protected under the United States and international copyright laws and treaties which provide substantial penalties for infringement. The use of any images or other materials included herein, in whole or in part, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the photographer.