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These images show the growth of Beijing from 1977 to 2022. In the images, the blue tones representing buildings and pavement spread outward, replacing the red tones of natural and agricultural vegetation. The city has now grown far beyond its traditional core around the Inner City, which is visible as a bright rectangle in the zoom-in images.


Every picture has a story to tell
June 17, 1977, Landsat 2 (path/row 132/32) — Beijing, China
May 2, 1983, Landsat 4 (path/row 123/32) — Beijing, China
Apr. 9, 1995, Landsat 5 (path/row 123/32) — Beijing, China
May 16, 2000, Landsat 7 (path/row 123/32) — Beijing, China
May 21, 2022, Landsat 8 (path/row 123/32) — Beijing, China


Additional story information

References (Earthshot Overview/Parent Only), [n.d.], Welcome to Fengzhuang: available online at (Accessed November 26, 2012.)

Beijing Travel, 2012, Beijing Subway Guide: available online at (Accessed November 26, 2012.)

China Airline Travel, [n.d.], Beijing Capital International Airport Guide: available online at…. (Accessed November 26, 2012.)

Demographia, 2021, Demographia World Urban Areas--Built-Up Urban Areas or World Agglomerations (17th ed.): 100 p., accessed May 27, 2022, at

Gaubatz, P., 1995, Changing Beijing: The Geographical Review, v. 85, no. 1, p. 79–96.

The Guardian, 2012, The world's top 100 airports—listed, ranked and mapped: available online at…. (Accessed November 26, 2012.)

Huus, K., 1994, No place like home; Beijing is remaking itself, but for whose benefit?: Far Eastern Economic Review, v. 157, no. 30, p. 72–73.

Wetherhold, S., 2012, The bicycle as symbol of China's transformation: The Atlantic, available online at…. (Accessed November 26, 2012.)

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