Eastern State Penitentiary from above

Originally published October 2018; updated October 2019

Philadelphia covers a lot of ground.

In total, the city encompasses about 150 square miles. That’s more than 4 billion square feet. If Philly wanted to turn all its land into football fields, at least 7,000 of them would fit within the borders.

We’ve got a lot of space to go around, but it’s not all treated the same. From the rowhomes of Strawberry Mansion to the skyscrapers of Center City to the woods of Pennypack Park, the landscape of Philadelphia looks very different depending on where you’re standing.

Using Google Earth (and with a hat-tip to The Atlantic) we collected 19 overhead views — each about a tenth of a square mile in area* — that show off Philly’s diverse terrain. Check them out below.

Train tracks and more train tracks near 30th Street Station

30th Street train tracks Credit: Google Earth

William Penn’s hat, plus the rest of City Hall

City Hall Credit: Google Earth

The orderly, lawn-fronted homes of Mayfair

Mayfair Credit: Google Earth

Fairmount Park is basically broccoli

Fairmount Park Credit: Google Earth

Buncha highways converging in Northeast Philly

Highways Credit: Google Earth

East Passyunk, in all its diagonal glory

East Passyunk Credit: Google Earth

Houses surrounding the spokes of Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Credit: Google Earth

Planes stopping at the spokes of PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport Credit: Google Earth

Girard Estates, aka a mini swath of suburbs in deep South Philly

Girard Estates Credit: Google Earth

Pennypack Park = trees galore

Pennypack Park Credit: Google Earth

Good to know: Boathouse Row also looks attractive from above

Boathouse Row Credit: Google Earth

Kensington, featuring the El and McPherson Square library

Kensington Credit: Google Earth

You can’t really tell how tall the Comcast towers are

Comcast Credit: Google Earth

Even from above, UPenn’s campus has an Ivy League vibe

UPenn Credit: Google Earth

Poplar looks almost suburban from this angle

Poplar Credit: Google Earth

This refinery takes up a lot of space in Southwest Philly

South Philly industry Credit: Google Earth

Home of the world champions…and some other teams too

Stadiums Credit: Google Earth

Strawberry Mansion rowhomes lookin’ like ants

Strawberry Mansion Credit: Google Earth

Winchester Park residents basically live in the woods

Winchester Park Credit: Google Earth

Michaela Winberg is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She covers LGBTQ people and culture, public spaces, and transportation and mobility. She also sometimes produces radio and web features...