In these false-color images, bright green indicates vegetation. As the city expands, you can see a sort of land cover succession as people build on the desert landscape.
- Non-developed land cover appears orange-brown in the Landsat 5–8 images. This color comes from sparse desert vegetation, reddish soils, and rock.
- Construction land appears brighter than surrounding land. Bulldozed soil, bare of vegetation, is very reflective of light.
- A young neighborhood appears a little paler green than older neighborhoods. The trees are small, and some developments conserve water by landscaping with rock and desert plants rather than grass.
- An old neighborhood is slightly darker green than new neighborhoods from the mature trees and more grass.
- Golf courses appear bright green because they are mostly pure pixels of vegetation. Residential areas are darker green because the pixels there are a mixture of trees and grass along with structures. New golf courses tend to be incorporated into residential developments, while older courses tend to be separate.
- Water (2) appears almost black because water typically absorbs solar radiation at the wavelengths depicted in these images. Like golf courses, water is sometimes integrated into residential developments for recreational purposes.