A digital animation showing the development of London from its Roman beginnings, in 43AD, to the present day was created using MOLA data. The London Evolution Animation uses the latest technology to bring nearly 2000 years' of  development in London to life and featured within the English Heritage “Almost Lost” exhibition.

“The animation was designed to help inform discussions regarding plans for the future of London and its historic fabric.”

Polly Hudson, Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

The animation was created by Flora Roumpani at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL, and directed by Polly Hudson Design for Historic England. It uses data produced by MOLA, Historic England, and Dr Kiril Stanilov at The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, University of Cambridge. Georeferenced road network data is used to demonstrate the extent of the City over time, showing abandonment and growth through the Roman, Saxon, Medieval and post-Medieval periods. The animation also marks the location of protected structures built during various period.

We provided specialist Roman and Medieval archaeological datasets to assist with the mapping of London’s earliest history, as well as data from 17th and early 18th-century London. In the animation the data is combined with information from other sources to track road networks and therefore show the growth of the city. Information about London’s Listed Buildings and Scheduled Monuments was provided by English Heritage and enables viewers to see how habitation and construction developed through London’s history. The London Evolution Animation will be exhibited permanently by New London Architecture at The Building Centre in central London. It serves as a tool for future regenerations and highlights the need to preserve the City’s history as it continues to expand.

The animation has been extremely popular with nearly 300,000 views (August 2014) on You Tube. It was posted by the Guardian newspaper on their social media channels in May 2014 and was one of their most popular posts, with over 150,000 hits.

Digital Roman Early Medieval Medieval Post-Medieval Exhibition