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Eye in the sky: Earth observation in aid of development

Data gathered from the vantage point of space provide critical information to help understand how the Earth works, how its regions undergo complex changes, and what policy-makers can do to mitigate them. Earth observation satellites have been used for years to gather such data, which is then used by agencies and institutions involved in development, aid and relief support.

In natural disasters-prone Asia, countries have high demand for meteorological observation systems to predict threats more precisely. For example, precipitation data gathered by satellites has great potential to be used to warn people living in areas at risk before a flood occurs. In addition, during and after a flood, high resolution images of inundated areas can support rescue and recovery operations.

“Space technology and associated geographic information systems (GIS) applications are highly valued due to the illustrative and easy-to-understand means of presenting complicated calculations and forecasts for policy makers, technical advisers and most especially field personnel,” explains ADB Space Technology Specialist Yusuke Muraki.

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Source: Asian Development Bank