Posted on September 14th, 2017

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Minute Maid Park

A Note To Our Readers: The article that follows was written a few weeks before Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Your residents and first-responders are in our thoughts as you go through the long clean up and rebuild process.

In August, we found ourselves in one of college football’s newest stadiums and for the start of fall we move to Houston, Texas with a look at Minute Maid Park – a Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium that is likely to see some playoff action this year.

Name & Its Origin: Minute Maid Park is the fourth name given to this stadium which was originally known as The Ballpark at Union Station (we love that original name!). In 2002, Minute Maid won the naming rights to the Houston Astro’s baseball stadium for more than $100 million over 28 years – and hence the name has been Minute Maid Park since.

Location: Minute Maid Park is located in downtown Houston, Texas some 47 miles (76 kilometers) from the Gulf of Mexico at about 21 feet above sea level – while the surrounding area is about 44 feet above sea level.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: The idea for a new MLB stadium in Houston started in 1996 as a private-public funding partnership with approval in November of that year for the $250 million ballpark. Designed by POPULOUS (formerly HOK Sport), Minute Maid Park opened on March 30, 2000 to a 2 to 1 victory over the New York Yankees. The current seating capacity of the ballpark is 40,963 with the latest round of changes focused on centerfield rolling out for the 2017 baseball season and beyond.

A 50-cm color image of Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA collected on November 24, 2014 by Pléiades 1B. To see this stadium in SPOT 6/7 1.5-meter resolution, check out this month’s feature on SPOTMaps. This image has custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. © CNES 2017, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Type of Field Surface: Minute Maid Park features a natural grass playing field that was installed for the 2015 season. It is a new variety, Platinum TE Paspalum, developed by a professor at the University of Georgia for improved drought, disease and salt resistance.

Key Sports Teams: While Minute Maid Park is the home of the Houston Astros, it has hosted several other sporting events, including the CONCACAF Champions cup in football (aka soccer), the Houston College Classic baseball tournament and even a cricket match for the Cricket All-Stars series.

Most Popular Yearly Event: Besides any playoff or World Series games the Astros might find themselves in as well as opening day of the MLB season, Minute Maid Park has hosted a wide array of events, including the opening warmup days for Super Bowl LI, a 50 couple wedding and music concerts by artists Jay Z, Paul McCartney and Madonna.

Fun Factoids: (1) Similar to the historic Camden Yards (we have covered this ballpark before here) which is part of the Baltimore Orioles’ iconic stadium, the main entrance to Minute Maid Park is through Union Station which opened in 1911. (2) The retractable roof over this stadium reveals the largest open area of any baseball stadium in the league – and there are also a total of 50,000 square feet of windows which feature Houston’s downtown even when the roof is closed. (3) Scheduled to be removed after the 2017 season, Tal’s Hill in centerfield was a feature unique to Minute Maid Park as centerfielders not only had to contend with a 436-feet fence at its deepest, but also the inclined surface formed by the “hill.”

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

Working with Pléiades 1 since the launch of the first twin satellite, P1A, we have noticed that:

  • Airbus Defense and Space is able to deliver on their tasking feasibilities.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about the high resolution satellite constellation, Pléiades 1. We can be reached anytime at (303) 993-3863 or sales@apollomapping.com.

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here.

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