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Home > iSGTW 27 January 2010 > Image - Satellite maps aid earthquake relief

Image - Satellite maps aid Haiti earthquake relief


Click on map for full-screen, PDF version. Original courtesy UNOSAT

Emergency response teams in Haiti are getting a helping hand from UNOSAT, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Program. Operating out of  CERN, UNOSAT is supplying maps of the roads in Port-Au-Prince to help humanitarian aid workers avoid road blockages. The maps show the location of debris that is blocking roads and bridges outright (shown in red) or partially restricting access (shown in orange).

The computer-intensive raw images from UNOSAT are transferred to EGEE, where programs compress the satellite images for transmission over low-bandwidth connections, allowing users to access the latest maps from devices as simple as mobile phones — essential in areas where land-lines are down and infrastructure destroyed. The location of the debris is captured by the GeoEye-1 satellite and placed on top of the cities layout, generated by street maps from Google Earth. The maps are accurate down to a resolution of 50 cm.

Maps will continue to be updated as long as is needed to aid the disaster relief work.

—Danielle Venton, EGEE

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