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Though it’s easy to crack jokes about Detroit’s downfall from afar, it doesn’t change the fact that there are very real people forced to look on as the place they call home slowly descends into decay. One of the most poignant depictions of this has come from none other than Google Maps.

Using Google Street View Time Machine, Alex Asup, a chief product officer at LOVELAND Technologies, has been documenting the neglect of the Detroit Metro’s some 78,000 houses.

The photos of these houses become even more striking when you realize that this extreme transformation really only takes place over a period of a few years, from 2009 to 2013. While it will almost certainly take quite a bit longer than that, hopefully one day, we’ll be able to look back again, this time at a city rising from the ruins. (via Gizmodo)

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