Environment

A Tale of Two Cities

ImaGeo iconImaGeoBy Tom YulsmanMay 16, 2013 3:18 AM

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A screenshot from a timelapse of Landsat images showing the growth of Shanghai since 1984. Click for the timelapse animation. I launched the ImaGeo blog here at Discover back in February, and ever since I've been focusing on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet. Starting Thursday, May 16, I'll be slowing down a bit on my posts as I head off to China and Cambodia for a few weeks. I plan on continuing to blog here at ImaGeo while I'm gone. Just not every day. I'm particularly interested in the phenomenon of megacities. Along those lines, check out the image above. It's a screenshot of a timelapse animation consisting of Landsat images showing the growth of Shanghai since 1984. Click on it to see the animation on Google's Earth Engine. The growth of Shanghai's urbanized area is simply astonishing. It has been driven by rapid industrialization and a rise in population from about 12 million people in 1984 to 23 million today. I'm bringing two cameras on my trip, and I hope to share photographs and other imagery while I'm away. I'll also be visiting the famed Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. Recent archeological evidence suggests that in the 15th century, it became the world's first pre-industrial megacity — and it covered something on the order of 700 square miles. That's about the size of greater London. For now, I'm intrigued by the tale of two cities theme. But who knows what else I'll find? So stay tuned for updates from Asia. And thank you for reading ImaGeo!

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