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Posted on April 7th, 2015

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Rungrado May Day Stadium

Change is good! So in honor of this simple theme, we switch up the focus of this article from golf courses to the Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month. We will also change the format of this article slightly into a list of information about each stadium to accompany the monthly 50-cm Pléiades 1 image. Without further delay, let’s jump into our first stadium of the month, Rungrado May Day Stadium.

Name & Its Origin: Rungrado May Day Stadium. Part of this stadium’s name is taken from the island it is located on, Rungra Island, which is surrounded by the Taedong River. And the rest of the name, May Day, comes from the international holiday that celebrates labor and is commonly celebrated in Communist nations.

Location: Rungrado is located in the heart of Pyongyang, North Korea which is the country’s largest city as well as its capital. The stadium sits on the north side of a 1.3 square kilometer land mass in the middle of the Taedong River, Rungra Island. Taedong River has its headwaters in the Rangirm Mountains, flowing some 439 kilometers southwest into the Korea Bay. Rungrado May Day Stadium is located about 61 meters above sea level.

A 50-cm color image of Rungnado May First Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea collected on November 10, 2013 by Pléiades 1B. To see this stadium in SPOT 6/7 1.5-meter resolution, check out this month’s feature on SPOTMaps. Image photo enhanced by Apollo Mapping. © CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: Rungrado May Day Stadium holds up to 150,000 people and was completed on May 1, 1989. Given that North Korea is a Communist nation, there are few details about its construction and designers. The stadium has 16 arches on its roof with some 207,000 square meters of floor space. The structure stands about 60-meters tall and has eight stories with 80 exits and ten lifts.

Type of Field Surface: The soccer pitch is covered with natural grass and the racing tracks are rubberized.

Key Sports Teams: The only sports-related tenants appear to be the men and women’s national football (soccer) teams.

Most Popular Yearly Event: The Arirang Festival which is a gymnastics and artistic event celebrating North Korea and its leader, Kim Il-sung. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Arirang Festival as the largest in the world.

Fun Factoids: (1) The 16 roof arches of Rungrado May Day Stadium are said to resemble a magnolia blossom, the national flower of North Korea. (2) Rungrado is the world’s largest stadium (by seating capacity) that does not hold auto or horse racing events. (3) The first Arirang was help in 2002 and featured some 100,000 plus participants which was double the number of spectators, lol! (4) Some of the more unique uses for the stadium include an assignation (by burning) of a number of North Korean generals in the late 1990s; hosting a visit by former US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, in 2000; and the August 1995 Collision in Korea which was the largest pay-per-view wrestling event ever and also viewed by a record stadium audience with some estimates as high as 190,000 attendees.

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.

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