Minimize World Cup 2018

The 2018 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup will take place from 14 June to 15 July in the host country of Russia.

The FIFA World Cup is held every four years and countries from around the world compete for the championship. 32 countries have qualified for participation this year, of which 20 were included in the 2014 World Cup in South Africa. Iceland and Panama make their first ever appearance at the World Cup finals.

Football is the most popular sport in modern Russia, and this is the first time the FIFA World Cup has been hosted in Eastern Europe.

The matches will take place in twelve stadiums in eleven different cities in Russia. Those cities are: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg.

The BBC have published a guide to the grounds hosting games in Russia, and have featured a video on the World cup football being tested on the ISS.

Airbus Defence and Space have released imagery of the stadiums for viewing, acquired by their Pleiades satellites.

Esri have produced a Story Map which looks at the 12 stadiums and other locations of interest in each city.

ArcGIS have an excellent dashboard featuring World Cup 2018 qualifying nations analysis

The NASA EO blog features a story on 'Satellites, Soccer Balls, and spectacular space images', with some interesting World Cup trivia.

This page features satellite images related to the World Cup, with a particular focus on the stadiums in Russia. Click on the thumbnail images to see larger versions.

17 July 2018 - France, Belgium and Croatia

The FIFA World football Championships in Russia ended on 15 July, with Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium hosting the final between France and Croatia, with France winning the contest 4-2.

Throughout the tournament, we have seen exciting matches, some big surprises, tension, and lots of beautiful goals (169 in total).

We would like to congratulate France as World Champions with these Proba-V 100m subset images, showing the countries in their full cloud-free glory. Congratulations also go to the silver and bronze medalists Croatia and Belgium for progressing so far in the tournament.

France, Belgium and Croatia

Credit: © ESA-BELSPO 2018, produced by VITO


06 July 2018 - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

This comparison of Sentinel-2 images dated June 2016 and July 2018 aims to show the construction of the Nizhny Novgorod stadium.

Nizhny Novgorod was built especially for the World Cup in a historic area known as the Spit (Strelki), which is based at the confluence of the Volga and the Oka rivers.

Ground was broken in 2015 and in 2016 the concrete base and platforms were added, which can be seen in the 2016 image. The 2018 image shows the newly built stadium design, inspired by the nature of the Volga region, consisting of a semi-transparent facade.

The stadium has already hosted four first round group matches, and one round of 16 match. On 06 July 2018, just 3 days after the latest image was taken, Nizhny Novgorod will host the quarter-final match between Uruguay and France.


Credit: Sentinel-2 © Copernicus Sentinel data (2018) additional editing by the eoPortal team.


02 July 2018 - Samara Arena, Kaliningrad

This Landsat-8 image of 06 June 2018, covers Samara, the Russian World Cup host city that is most famous for helping drive the Soviet Union's space race with the United States.

The factories in Samara were used to build the rocket that, in 1961, took Yuri Gagarin into orbit as the first man in space.

The stadium has an overall silhouette resembling a star or spacecraft, and is highlighted here at a higher resolution, using a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image of 26 June 2018.

samara stadium, samara

Credit: NASA, using Landsat data from the United States Geological Survey


26 June 2018 - Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

This Landsat-8 image captured 09 June 2018 shows the city of Kaliningrad and the Pregolya River.

Kaliningrad Stadium can be sign right-centre of the image and is situated on Oktyabrsky Island and the venue will host four games of the World Cup in groups D, E, B and G.

The stadium is based in central Kaliningrad oblast, a Russian exclave situated on the Baltic Sea, which is sandwiched between Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east, some 1235 km from Moscow.

See more images from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 and in this accompanying feature.


Credit: NASA, using Landsat data from the United States Geological Survey


22 June 2018 - FIFA 2018 stadiums seen by Pleiades

This youtube video by Airbus Defence and Space shows the 12 stadiums to be used during the FIFA World Cup 2018 using the Pleiades satellite. The images collected by Pléiades, in April 2018, are captured at 50cm resolution.


19 June 2018 - Fisht Stadium, Sochi

This Deimos-2 image shows the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia. The stadium is located in Sochi Olympic Park and is named after the nearby Mount Fisht.

The stadium was built in 2013 for the 2014 Winter Olympics in a beautiful area of the city, a part of the Imereti Lowlands which stretches along the Black Sea, and can be seen from the stands.

Credit: © Deimos imaging an UrtheCast company


18 June 2018 - Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

This image of the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was captured by the Pleiades satellite on 19 April 2018.

Yekaterinburg, also known as Ekaterinburg, is one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia international football tournament. The Inset River which features to the right of Central Stadium, flows from the Ural Mountains into the Tobol River. 

Credit: CNES 2018, Distribution Airbus DS


16 June 2018 - FIFA 2018 stadiums from space

This youtube video by Deimos Imaging and its partners monitored the construction and refurbishing of the 12 stadiums to be used during the FIFA World Cup 2018 from space, using the Deimos-2 satellite. An accompanying ArcGIS story map is also available.


12 June 2018 - Moscow Region

Moscow hosts the main venue of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the 145 hectares Olympic complex of the Luzhniki Stadium. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place on 14 June, starting with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The city - surrounded by satellite towns and neighbourhoods that form the Moscow Region - is nicely captured in cyan in this false-colour 100 m image from Proba-V, acquired on 16 August 2017.

Credit: © ESA-BELSPO 2017, produced by VITO


08 June 2018 - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

This image of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was captured by the Pleiades satellite on 07 May 2018.

Luzhniki Stadium is the largest football stadium in Russia and is ready to host seven football matches, including the opening match and the final. The stadium is newly refurbished and can hold over 80,000 people.

Credit: CNES 2018, Distribution Airbus DS


06 June 2018 - FIFA 2018 stadiums

As football fans all over the world are gearing up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, GeoSpatial World presents an exclusive video that highlights the 12 stadiums in 11 cities that will be used to host the 64 matches.