A series of time-lapse videos released by Google Earth show the incredible growth of the world's cities in the past three decades. Satellite images going back to 1984 show how infrastructure around the world has changed the layout of the urban world.

For London, the most striking changes occur around Stratford as the area is regenerated and the Olympic Park was built in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.

Other cities around the world have taken more outward trajectories. The video of the city of Dubai is a telling case of how the small oil-rich nations of the Gulf so quickly put their money to infrastructure and spreading the cities out into the desert.

In Taipei, Taiwan, once green areas of the city are filled in with white buildings as further out, whole new sections of city come into being.

Along with city growth, the time-lapses show humans' effect on the natural world. Just south of Botswana's second largest city, Francistown, the Shashe Dam can be seen being constructed ending with the subsequent creation of a lake-sized area of water.

Dramatic growth of cities across the globe captured by Google EarthGoogle Earth