Posted on March 4th, 2014

Our Changing Landscape – Isfahan City Center, Iran

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 5 billion square kilometers of data. This month, we look at the construction of one of the world’s largest malls, the Isfahan City Center in Iran.

The RapidEye Constellation

IsfahanCityCenter_animeClick on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color imagery collected over the Isfahan City Center, Iran on October 28, 2009, December 12, 2010, June 7, 2001, November 3, 2012 and November 5, 2013. In this animated series, you can see that construction on the shopping mall and surrounding areas has progressed rapidly since it started. (Images Courtesy: RapidEye)

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers a daily revisit time to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a base price of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data available in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

Isfahan City Center, Iran

Isfahan is the third largest city in Iran and second largest metropolitan area, behind Tehran, with nearly 3.5 million citizens. Located in central Iran, the city is at the intersection of major north-south and east-west trade routes which have been used for centuries. Isfahan is approximately 5,000 feet above sea level and just to the east of the Zagros mountain range, giving it a mild climate relatively similar to that of Boulder, Colorado (my hometown for the last 13 years!). The history of Isfahan dates back to the Palaeolithic period where it was a regional hub given its fertile soils along the banks of the Zayendehrud River. The city’s golden age was the 16th Century under the Persian Safavid dynasty when Shah Abbas the Great made it the capital. Today, Isfahan is a cultural and economic hub of Iran with textiles, steel and oil production its key industries.

Isfahan City Center is a multi-use complex with one of the 10 largest malls in the world, completed in November 2012. Having one of the world’s largest malls is an intriguing juxtaposition given the traditional Muslim culture of Iran. The mall was built on a 150,000 square meter (sq m) plot of land, approximately 9 kilometers south of Isfahan. Isfahan City Center features more than 750 stores with 4,250,000 sq m of retail space and 5,500 parking spaces. There is also a 5-star hotel on the site that is 30 stories tall with 400 rooms and multiple residential units. Currently under construction is another skyscraper which will house a financial exchange, residential units, office spaces and an exhibition center.

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at sales@apollomapping.com or (303) 993-3863.

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