While the world marveled last week on its new population of 7 billion people I decided I needed a way to illustrate our new vastness. This quoted text from Wikipedia seemed like a good place to start.
"The Greater Tokyo Area is a large metropolitan area in Kantō region, Japan, consisting of most of the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo (at the center). A 2007 UN estimate puts the population at 35,676,000, " (The current number 37,730,064.) "making it the world's most populous metropolitan area by far. It covers an area of approximately 13,500 km² (5,200 mi²), giving it a population density of 2,642 person/km² - which is somewhat more than twice the population density of Bangladesh. It is the second largest single metropolitan area in the world in terms of built-up or urban function landmass at 7,800 km² (3,000 mi²)."
Japan is approximately the size of California in land mass but still manages #10 on the most populated countries list and Tokyo's population is close to the entire population of the Roman Empire (AD 300-400). It will be interesting to watch how the world adapts to the new space, agricultural, and industrial challenges of a planet hosting this level of human diaspora. The following aerials attempt to illustrate the sheer sprawl that is greater Tokyo. From the air I could view the population horizon in a manner impossible from the tight-knit street level of the city. I scheduled a future dawn flight, even though my pilot informed me the city has yet to return to its full force illumination in the wake of last years tsunami and subsequent power shortages. For now this hazy mid-day flight was an amazing glimpse at the worlds largest city and possible a sign of things to come.