Minimize London, United Kingdom

London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 2.9 km2 mediaeval boundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375; making it the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the Greater London administrative area (coterminous with the London region), governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transport. It is one of the world's leading financial centres and has the fifth-or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world depending on measurement. London is a world cultural capital. It is the world's most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world's largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.

London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within Greater London. The region had an official population of 8,416,535 in 2013, the largest of any municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants according to the 2011 census. The city's metropolitan area is the third most populous in Europe after Moscow and Istanbul, with 13,614,409 inhabitants, while the Greater London Authority puts the population of London metropolitan region at 21 million. London was the world's most populous city from around 1831 to 1925.

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory, Greenwich marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.

More information is available on Wikipedia

Overlay image (Before and After)

Today we feature the city of London, capital of the United Kingdom. It is situated in south-eastern England at the head of the River Thames estuary. Settled by the Romans as an important shipping point for crops and minerals, it gradually developed into the wealthy capital of a thriving industrial and agricultural nation. London straddles the River Thames, 80 km upriver from its mouth at the Nore, where the English Channel joins the North Sea. Most of London, including its central districts and the majority of its famous landmarks, lies to the north of the river. The original settlement that gave London its name was the Roman fort of Londinium, founded in the first century AD. The City of London is on the site where this stood, and the description of the Roman town as "a busy emporium for trade and traders" by the Roman historian Tacitus seems equally apt today. St Paul's Cathedral stands on the western edge of the City, and the Tower of London, the Norman fortress built by William the Conqueror to defend his new lands late in the 11th century (listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site), lies to the south-east. It is the current repository of the Crown Jewels.

Spanning the river to Southwark (west of Tower Bridge) is London Bridge, a modern replacement of the only bridge over the Thames in London until the 18th century. To the east and north-east of the City are the predominantly working-class districts of the East End, home to successive waves of immigrants from Ireland, continental Europe, and the former British Empire. Lively and industrious, the East End continues to have many thriving small businesses. The area known as the Docklands comprises (on the north bank of the Thames) the districts of Wapping and Poplar, the Isle of Dogs, the Royal Docks, and (to the south of the Thames) Surrey Docks. Docklands is the site of a massive inner city regeneration project. West of the City lie the ancient Inns of Court (Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple, and Gray's Inn), the legal district occupied by barristers and firms of solicitors; and Fleet Street, once the home of Britain's national press (which has now relocated to other parts of the capital). Further to the north-west is Bloomsbury, the haunt in the 1920s of a renowned group of literary intellectuals (the Bloomsbury Group), thanks to its proximity to London University and the British Museum.

These images acquired by the Landsat 5 and 8 satellites have a time window of acquisition (before / after) of 29 years and aim to show the urban difference from 1985 until 2013. The images taken as comparison, aim to show the difference of infrastructure in the central city and surrounding area and underline how the City has changed during this time.

Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download Landsat data through the ESA portals, where images captured every day are made available in near real time to the users and the scientific community.

Landsat full resolution data products are freely available for immediate download at:

London 2013London 1985

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View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 3.2 MB)

View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 3.4 MB)

Technical Information of original image
Product: Geo Tiff format
Satellite/Sensor: Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 8 OLI
Resolution: 30 metres
Coverage: 180 x 180 KM
Acq. Date: 02 June 1985 and 08 July 2013
Band Combination used to create this image: 3, 2, 1 (R-G-B) and 8, 3, 2 (R-G-B) Panchromatic + Visible colour bands
Map of area

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