Friday’s Food for Thought: Mapping the Olympics

Discovering Rio de Janeiro


The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro kick off tonight with the opening ceremonies. While most people around the globe will watch the games from home, more than half a million individuals are in the Brazilian city ready to cheer on their respective countries.

Satellite imagery is being used to help keep Rio de Janeiro safe during the 17-day world event. DigitalGlobe is providing a Summer Olympic Security Package for international governments and security agencies. The package includes cloud-based access to historical and near real-time, high-resolution satellite imagery of Rio de Janeiro and the Olympic venues. Additionally, DigitalGlobe captured a series of satellite images of the 2016 Summer Olympic venues while under construction, showing progress at the site since 2014.

According to a Quartz article, Google Maps and Rio de Janeiro nonprofit AfroReggae are walking the streets of the city to map its “favelas,” or low-income communities. The goal of the project is to break down the walls between favelas and the rest of the city as well as to drive new customers to local businesses. Currently, 26 favelas and 10,000 businesses have been mapped.

A team from Rice University’s Humanities Research Center is shedding light on the history of Rio de Janerio by illustrating the city in a new mapping project called imagineRio, reports CityLab. The platform is a searchable atlas depicting social and urban evolution in Rio de Janeiro from 1500 to 2016. Also, check out historical maps of Rio de Janeiro via the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Flickr account. These maps are part of a historical collection from the U.S. Army Map Service’s Map Depository Program at Bowdoin College.


Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe

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