Posted on December 11th, 2012

Our Changing Landscape – Oktoberfest 2011

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 3 billion square kilometers of data. This month, we travel across the ‘Pond’ to Munich, Germany and the 2011 Oktoberfest.

The RapidEye Constellation

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 receive a discount on this price. 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.

Oktoberfest 2011

What started as the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810, has since grown into the world’s largest festival. The tradition of Oktoberfest grew out of a horse race held at the royal wedding that was repeated in subsequent years given its popularity with the local Bavarians. Oktoberfest has been held nearly every year since 1810 with breaks during World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.

Today, the event spans 16-days from late September to the first weekend in October. While many outsiders know the festival for its ‘wurst,’ beer steins and lederhosen, the 6-million plus visitors to the Theresienwiese (or the field of Therese in Munich where the event is held) are welcomed by a carnival atmosphere that has something for the entire family. For the kids, there are games, rides and candy stands galore. And for the ‘kids at-heart,’ there are a plethora of large and small tents to visit. Each houses a local brewery that serves up specially-crafted beers and wines – fueling the group song and dance which lasts all night long.

The record Oktoberfest attendance was set in 2011 at 6.9-million visitors who consumed 2-million gallons of beer which is a bit over a liter per visitor. Record crowds and revenues were expected in 2012 where a single liter of beer cost 10 Euros (with the tip included) in most of the large tents. The animation that follows shows you the set-up, several days during and the tear-down of Oktoberfest 2011. Given how colorful the event is, my goal was to accentuate this as opposed to matching colors between the various dates.


Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color imagery collected over Theresienwiese during and around Oktoberfest. In these images, you can also see the affects of sun elevation on RapidEye images as the shadows are much deeper in the late October data. Finally, you can see from the time stamps on each image that the set-up of Oktoberfest takes a good bit longer than the breakdown. (Images Courtesy: RapidEye)

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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