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Venice floating city
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Venice, floating city

October 18, 2011
The islands that make up the Italian city of Venice and the surrounding Venetian Lagoon are pictured in this image from the Ikonos-2 satellite. Famous for its musical and artistic cultural heritage millions of tourists flock to the archipelago every year. It is also known for the world’s oldest film event, the annual Venice Film Festival, which ended last week. Snaking through the central districts is the Grand Canal, with the Santa Lucia train station at its northern end and the Saint Mark Basin at its southern end. Zooming in, we can see water buses and taxis navigating the canal and gondolas docked along the edge. The square island to the north is San Michele. Once a prison island, it became a cemetery when Napoleon’s occupying forces declared burial on the main islands unsanitary. Constructed on wooden piles, Venice is prone to flooding tides that are becoming more frequent. In 2003 work began to block particularly high tides with submarine mobile barriers. The project is still underway. This image was acquired on 22 June 2008 by Ikonos-2, a commercial satellite that provides panchromatic and multispectral high-resolution imagery. ESA is supporting Ikonos-2 as a Third Party Mission, which means that the Agency uses its multi-mission European ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data from the satellite to its wide scientific user community.