This satellite-based visualisation will show you how Rio changed for the Olympics


Organizing Olympic Games is a huge project not only for athletes but also for the host city. Brasil is experienced in holding large sporting events as the country hosted 2014 FIFA World Cup and although there are some complains about the quality of some venues on the ground we decided to take a look on how the preparations looked like from the space. We’ve analyzed historical satellite images from to check what was already there which objects had to be built from the from the ground up. Our visual analysis showed that Rio already had a couple of stadiums that were prepared for the championship two years ago, nonetheless there are two Olympic Parks that had to be built from scratch.

Barra Olympic Park is one the hearts of the Rio 2016 Games. It hosts nine sporting venues located in Barra da Tijuca, in the west zone of Rio. Below you’ll find the visualisation of how the area changed on ever the last 6 years. On the first image you can see that it was previously a motorsport circuit that hosted the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix from 1970s. It was demolished in 2012 to make a space for the Olympic Village.

Barra Olympic Park_2010-2016

The Deodoro Olympic Park, located in the north-west part on the city, is the largest of Rio’s Olympic zones, and is set to host 11 Olympic sports including: Canoe Slalom, BMX, Mountain Biking, Field Hockey, Shooting, Modern Pentathlon, Women’s Basketball, Rugby, and Equestrian Jumping, Dressage. The images below show that the construction of the key Olympic venues started only in 2014.


We also looked at Maracanã Stadium. You can see how it changed for the 2014 World Cup. During the Olympics it hosted the opening ceremony. The preparations for the event are visible on the last image taken in June 2016.

Macarrana 2009-2016 visualization

Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.