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Posted on December 6th, 2022

The December Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Point of Interest – The Taj Mahal

Change is good! So, moving forward, the focus of the Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Stadium of the Month will shift to the Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Point of Interest. Points of Interest will include places such as landmarks, national parks, historical sites, cool buildings and more. In November, we looked at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay, WI. This month, for the first Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Point of Interest, we’ll be looking at one of India’s most iconic buildings: the Taj Mahal.

These images of the Taj Mahal showcase the spectacular colors of the area, as well as the striking symmetry of the grounds and architecture for which the structure is known. Image 1 is a 50-cm Pléiades 1A image captured on March 18, 2022. Image 2 is a 30-cm image taken by Pléiades Neo 4 on March 14, 2022. These images have custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. PLEIADES © CNES 2022, Distribution Airbus DS.

About the Point of Interest: The Taj Mahal is a glistening white marble mausoleum that sits of the banks of the Yamina River in the Indian city of Agra. The name Taj Mahal literally translates to, “Crown of the Palace”. The mausoleum was commissioned in 1631 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the mausoleum itself was completed in 1643, but other phases of the project, such as the guest house, courtyard and cloisters, were active until 1653. Approximately 20,00 workers were involved in the construction. The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in Indo-Islamic culture, hailed for is symmetrical beauty, use of light and shadow, and the color contrast of the white marble against the green gardens, red paths and blue skies.

Fun Factoids: (1) We chose to focus on the Taj Majal as out first Point of Interest because of its beauty, iconic nature and fascinating history. (2) Some 8 million people visit the Taj Majal each year. (3) It costs about 1,200 Indian Rupees, or $15 USD, to buy a day pass to the Taj Majal and its museum. (4) Air pollution for nearby factories and cars poses a threat to the pristine white marble façade. In 1989, India’s Supreme Court put a number of anti-pollution measures in place to help protect the national treasure. (5) In addition to the iconic white marble, other semiprecious stones, (such as jade, crystal, amethyst, turquoise and lapiz lazuli) were used to create intricate inlaid designs in a technique known in India as parchin kari. (6) There is a legend that Emperor Shah Jahan wanted to build a second Taj across the Yuman River, this one of black marble. Supposedly he wanted to be buried in the Black Taj, and have it connected by a bridge to the White Taj (what we know as the Taj Majal).

The 50-cm 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 and Pléiades Neo for your next geospatial projects.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a well-established 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 both of these satellite constellations.

The 30-cm Pléiades Neo High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

Pléiades Neo is our newest high-resolution satellite constellation. The first Neo satellite went up in April 2021 and the second in August of the same year. This 30-centimeter resolution constellation will add two more satellites in the next few months and upgrade from daily to intraday revisits. Pléiades Neo has six multispectral bands with 1.2-meter resolution, including a deep blue and two infrared bands, along with a 30-centimeter resolution panchromatic band.

The archive is growing every day, and the satellites are available for new collections, making Pléiades Neo the perfect solution for site monitoring. Check out our beautiful sample images in the Pléiades Neo gallery.

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1 can be found on our website here; while the same can be found here for the Pléiades Neo constellation.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about Pléiades 1 and/or Pléiades Neo. We can be reached at (303) 993-3863 or

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