Minimize Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, politically incorporated as a federal subject (a federal city). It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad, and in 1991, back to Saint Petersburg. In Russian literature, informal documents, and discourse, the word "Saint" is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg". In casual conversation Russians may drop the "burg" as well, referring to it as "Piter". Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. Between 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's 2nd largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants (2012) and the fourth most populated federal subject.

Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world.

Statue erected in memory of the city's founder

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View two other landmarks of Russia's capital:

Overlay image (Before and After)

These images acquired over Saint Petersburg, in a time window of 25 years by the Landsat 5 and 8 satellites, aim to show the significant development of the city and the harbour during this period of time. In this comparison, we can see the large urban areas have been built along the gulf coast, especially in the south of city and in the hinterlands of the city. The harbour has also experienced significant change during these years, and this is visible in the image acquired in 2014. For the Earth Watching project, the use of this comparison is a new method for showing these changes step by step.

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:

Saint Petersburg 2014Saint Petersburg 1989

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View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 3 MB)

View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 3.3 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: 08 July 1989 and 24 April 2014
Band Combination used to create these images: 3, 2, 1 (R-G-B) Visible colour and 4, 3, 2 (R-G-B) Visible colour
Map of area

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