A series of aerial images of Cayman through the decades shows how quickly the island has changed and how dramatically that has impacted the landscape.
Looking at the images we can see how development has impacted different districts across the island in different ways and at different times. Use the cursor to scroll from the 1958 photographs to the 2018 version of the same area in the composite images below
South Sound remained largely undeveloped through the 1950s and 60s. Significant residential growth in this area really began in the 1970s and has continued ever since to the point where there were few developable parcels left by the time the 2018 aerial images were taken.
Grand Harbour was developed on the North Sound in the early 90s and has continued to grow since then. A recent trend of new residential development has seen it expand even beyond what is seen on the aerial map from 2018.
Seven Mile Beach corridor
The Seven Mile Beach corridor has perhaps seen the greatest change of any area in Cayman. In the 1958 image a single-track road bisects the beach on one side and wetlands and dry cays on the other. The development of hotels and condos along the beach and canals cutting in from the North Sound has intensified over the decades to create the area we know today.
The Rum Point area has developed over the past half-century into a tourism hub. Cayman Kai simply isn’t there on the early aerial photos. It was built on reclaimed land in the 1980s. The expansion of the area has continued with new residences and holiday homes popping up over the past decade.
Even in the 1950s George Town was relatively developed and the changes in the capital have not been quite as dramatic as elsewhere. The appearance of the Royal Watler pier and the expansion of the road network are the most significant changes that show up in the aerial photography.
The Spotts area has grown from literally nothing in the 1950s to a major residential zone. A lot of that growth has come in the past two decades with new condos, sub-divisions and neighbourhoods springing up between the new East-West Arterial highway and Shamrock Road.
Interactive presentation: Stephanie Ditta
- Colour has been restored to 1950s aerial photography for ease of comparison