This high-resolution satellite image, offered by Customaps, shows a network of canals that encircle the medieval city center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Centuries before it took on its actual configuration, Amsterdam was a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel River. People living in the region constructed an earthen dam to hold back the sea. There was soon after a route for overland traffic when a bridge was built to connect to the dam.
Amsterdam was declared a city in 1306, its name derived from “Amstel” and “dam”. By draining swampland and digging canals, Amsterdam’s designers created a port city that inspired planners throughout England, Sweden, and especially Russia – Peter the Great had hired Dutch engineers to transform the swampy terrain into what is now St. Petersburg. Today, residents and tourists alike can easily navigate the city on its municipal canal-bus system.
Image © Mapbox, DigitalGloble, Inc.
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