Picture of the Day: The Bi-Continental Urban Sprawl of Istanbul From Space

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Istanbul is one of the world's great cities with a population of 15 million spread out over 700 square miles of land. While that's no Los Angeles-level of sprawl (L.A.'s metro area is pegged at 4,800 square miles), the Turkish city has been growing and spreading rapidly over the past few decades. The city has tripled in area over the last 35 years. In this false color satellite image taken by the German space agency, the DLR, the yellow areas reflect human buildings.

Istanbul is split by the Bosphorous River, which also is considered the dividing line between Asia (right) from Europe (left), as you may have learned in Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Two bridges crossing the river have been built since 1973 and appear to have driven growth on the Asian side of the city.

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Image: DLR.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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