Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Satellite Photos of São Paulo versus other large cities

São Paulo is supposedly one of the 10 largest cities in the world in population terms. Some say 4th largest, some say 7th largest and I'm not questioning it's immensity but these statistics are never definitive as they always boil down to how you define the central districts, city delimitations and metropolitan regions.

An alternate way to measure size is to look at urban footprints from space which gives us a rough and ready comparison, if not of population then at least of how far the concrete sprawl reaches. Below is São Paulo's satellite footprint:

São Paulo's 18,850,000 residents as seen from above
In terms of municipalities you can see Guarulhos, Itaquaquecetuba, Susano, Moji das Cruzes, Sao Caetano do Sul, Santo Andre, Maua, Ribeirao Pires, Diadema, Itapecerica da Serra, Cotia, Jacarei, Santa Isabel, Itapevi, Barueri, Carapicuiba, Santos, Praia Grande, Embu and Osasco.

And if you know the area well you will be able to identify Serra da Cantareira, Parque Estadual da Cantareira, Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, Tiete River, Taiacupeba reservoir, Guarapiranga resevoir, Represa Billings, Reserva Estadual and Represa Pedro Beichi.

Interestingly the spread of the city is very expansive despite large parts of it being highly verticalised. To contextualise here's a comparison with other large cities all shown on the same scale: Madrid, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Mexico City


Madrid, 4,072,000 strong but a small village compared to São Paulo
São Paulo's nextdoor neighbour is also a giant with 13,170,000 residents

Shanghai from above (population 16,650,000)
Mexico City, 20,450,000 and Latam megalopolis

7 comments:

Vic said...

Great post! It'll be nice to see how those cities compare to LA and London :)

Anonymous said...

Hello from Shanghai! Now how big is Seoul..?
S

Anonymous said...

Hello there!

My name is Malte Zeeck, and I am with InterNations.org. I really enjoyed reading your fantastic blog! I think expats in San paolo and around the world could really gain some great insights [and have a few good laughs] on this page. The quality of the blog in general is very convincing, which is why I would love to feature you and your writing on the Recommended Blog on San paolo section on InterNations.org
Not only do we feature and link to your blog prominently; we also would like to hear from you directly in our questionnaire! We have also designed a link badge for your blog.
If you are interested, please feel free to contact me via email: maltezeeck@internations.org
Best,
Malte Zeeck

Shanghai Travel Guide said...

Whoo! Your trip sounds amazing, and the photos are incredible. And I can't wait to see the other post!

Cheap flights to Sao Paulo said...

Night falls over Machu Picchu to the sound of Abba's 'Dancing Queen'.

Anonymous said...

The one for Mexico City is not on the same scale as Sao Paolo.

Anonymous said...

If we believe the pictures above, this tells us that Mexico City is roughly as large as Madrid and fits entirely at least twice into Rio or Sao Paolo. This just cannot be correct. The pics were taken on a different scale.

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