Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa. It is the second-most populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg. It is also the capital and primate city of the Western Cape province. As the seat of the Parliament of South Africa, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The city is famous for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and for such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. As of 2014, it is the 10th most populous city in Africa and home to 64% of the Western Cape’s population. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both the American New York Times and the British Daily Telegraph.
Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was first developed by the Dutch East India Company as a victualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.
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This week our Landsat 5 and 8 imagery tour of the major cities around the world, stops over Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa and capital of Western Cape Province. It is located at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula and is one of South Africa’s major ports and industrial centres; associated suburbs and satellite towns of the fast-growing metropolitan area extend south across the neck of the Cape Peninsula to False Bay (Valsbaai). The old part of the city, now marked by high-rise buildings and sprawling suburbs, is located between Table Bay to the north and the steep slopes of Table Mountain (1,086 m) to the south. Several lesser peaks, including Lion’s Head to the south-west and Signal Hill to the west, rise above the city and overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Town is a popular holiday resort, noted for its scenic beauty and fine beaches.
The purpose of this image comparison, using images acquired by the Landsat series in a time window of sixteen years, is to show the urban differences in and around the city. The comparison clearly shows large development to the city, especially in the north east part and along the south coast along False Bay.
Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download and use the Landsat data (European Coverage) 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 for Europe coverage are freely available for immediate download at:
- LANDSAT-8 portal
- LANDSAT 1-7 portal
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View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 5.2 MB)
View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 4.3 MB)
In addition, the Sentinel series was used to create the following comparison. The Sentinel-2A (optical sensor) and Sentinel-1A (Radar ASAR instrument) imnages show the large fild of application that the Copernicus satellite family can cover in monitoring the state of the Earth every day.
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View Sentinel-2A high resolution image (JPG 5.3 MB)
View Sentinel-1A high resolution image (JPG 5.4 MB)
Map of area
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