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Urban Sprawl in Beijing, China

Beijing is one of the oldest, and now, one of the most crowded cities in the world. Established as a city in 1045 BC, King Wu was the first to declare it as a capital in 1057 BC. Having served as the capital of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing is now the capital of the People's Republic of China. In these Landsat images, the explosive growth of this ancient city is clearly visible. In 1972, only about 7.89 million people lived there -- but by 2010 the population swelled to more than 12 million. This increase in the city's size corresponds to the opening of China to the Western world in the 1970s. Up until 1979, the government restricted housing in the city, limiting it to the confines of the "Outer City." Previously a walled fortress, its outline is still visible today due to the build up of canals and roads along the path of the original wall. Inside this rectangular boundary is the ancient heart of the capital, the moat-lined Forbidden City. Called forbidden because anyone entering needed royal permission, this is where the Imperial Palace still stands, once home to 500 years of Chinese emperors. It was Kublai Khan who established the Forbidden City in 1260 A.D. He called it Khanbaliq but Italian explorer Marco Polo called it Cambuluc. It still stands as Beijing's city center. In 1421 the Chinese took the city back and gave it its current name of Beijing. Today, Beijing is only limited by the rugged Taihang Mountains that run to the west and northwest of the city, pushing the population to spread to the south and east across the relatively flat coastal plain.
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Animation zooming down to Beijing, China in 1978 via Landsat-3. The data then dissolves to Beijing in 2010 through the sensors of Landsat-5. The red areas are non-vegetated urban areas. This version contains date labels.    Animation zooming down to Beijing, China in 1978 via Landsat-3. The data then dissolves to Beijing in 2010 through the sensors of Landsat-5. The red areas are non-vegetated urban areas.

This version contains date labels.
Duration: 25.0 seconds
Available formats:
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         9 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         11 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   10 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   1 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         420 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         13 MB
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Animation zooming down to Beijing, China in 1978 via Landsat-3.  The data then dissolves to Beijing in 2010 through the sensors of Landsat-5.  The red areas are non-vegetated urban areas.    Animation zooming down to Beijing, China in 1978 via Landsat-3. The data then dissolves to Beijing in 2010 through the sensors of Landsat-5. The red areas are non-vegetated urban areas.
Duration: 20.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1920x1080 MPEG-4   21 MB
  1920x1080 QT         17 MB
  1920x1080 Frames
  1280x720   QT         9 MB
  1280x720   MPEG-4   20 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   3 MB
  1920x1080 JPEG         466 KB
How to play our movies


Print resolution Landsat data of Beijing in 1978.    Print resolution Landsat data of Beijing in 1978.

Available formats:
  3600 x 2040     TIFF     10 MB


Print resolution Landsat data of Beijing in 2010.    Print resolution Landsat data of Beijing in 2010.

Available formats:
  3600 x 2040     TIFF     11 MB
  320 x 180         PNG     100 KB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3791
Animation Number:3791
Completed:2012-07-09
Animators:Alex Kekesi (GST) (Lead)
 Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC)
Producer:Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)
Project Support:Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
 Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
Writer:Aries Keck (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Landsat-3/MSS/Band Combination 5, 7, 4 (6/21/1978)
 Landsat-5/TM/Band Combination 3, 4, 2 (8/8/2010)
Series:LDCM
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
 
Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Landsat
SVS >> Sprawl
SVS >> Urban
SVS >> Urban Growth
SVS >> Urban Sprawl
SVS >> Urbanization
GCMD >> Location >> China
SVS >> LDCM
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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