The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Stade Vélodrome - Apollo Mapping
Posted on September 13th, 2016

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Stade Vélodrome

From last month’s focus on a Pac-12 football stadium, for the September Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month we travel to Europe with a look at a gorgeous French structure, Stade Vélodrome.

Name & Its Origin: A velodrome is a stadium with a banked oval track for bicycling racing and true to its name, Stade Vélodrome was originally used mainly for bike competitions. Over the years, other sports grew in popularity but the name stuck; and as of June 2016, the name changed to Orange Vélodrome (much less elegant sounding so we opt for Stade Vélodrome for the remained of this piece).

A 50-cm color image of Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, France collected on July 28, 2015 by Pléiades 1A. 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 2016, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Location: Stade Vélodrome is located in the southern coastal French city of Marseille, just over one mile from the Mediterranean Sea and 1.5 miles from downtown. Given how close it is to the ocean, the stadium is only 25 to 30 feet above sea level.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: Originally opened on June 13, 1937, Stade Vélodrome was an open-air venue that hosted mainly cycling competitions and soccer matches. As the stadium is close to 80 years old, it has seen significant renovations in its long-history, notably in 1970, 1982 and before the 1998 World Cup. To get ready for the 2016 Euro Cup, Stade Vélodrome underwent a 267 million Euro renovation completed by GFC Construction. This round of renovation added an iconic swooped white roof and increased capacity to 67,000.

Type of Field Surface: Since 2014, Stade Vélodrome has featured an AirFibr hybrid grass surface. AirFibr is a merging of natural grass with a synthetic rootzone made of fibers, cork and sand.

Key Sports Teams: While Stade Vélodrome hosts a variety of events each year, its only full-time tenant is the French Ligue 1 team, Olympique de Marseille.

Most Popular Yearly Event: Soccer has always been the main stay of this stadium as even though its name suggests it is a cycling venue, its first official event was a 1937 friendly soccer match between Olympique de Marseille and Italian league team Torino FC. In 1985, the cycling track was removed but the stadium continues to host rugby, boxing, tennis and hockey to name a few of the sports. The stadium also hosts concerts, including AC/DC in 2016!

Fun Factoids: (1) During the final round of renovations which were completed from 2011 to 2014, Stade Vélodrome remained open, hosting all of the scheduled soccer matches without major incident. (2) Stade Vélodrome is the second largest stadium in France, second only to Stade de France in a Parisian suburb. (3) The newly installed roof is made of fiberglass with strands of Teflon woven throughout, and is illuminated at night, making it one of Marseille’s most recognized nighttime landmarks.

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    The Geospatial Times Archive