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Putting it All Together – How UNOSAT Makes Sure Earthquake Relief and Early Recovery in Nepal can Count on Integrated Geo-Spatial Information

7 May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland – On 25 April, Nepal was hit be a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. As of 6 May, the number of casualties is reported at 7,675 while 16,392 have been injured.

Immediately after the red alert by the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), UNICEF and OCHA requested UNOSAT rapid mapping service. Priority areas of interest were identified and UNOSAT began the acquisition of satellite imagery through the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters (Space Charter) and from commercial vendors.

In large emergencies of this kind, as satellite imagery become available, several remote sensing entities start to assess the damage in various ways. Being able to integrate these various sources into a common platform is crucial for easy access to information in support of overall humanitarian coordination efforts. UNOSAT acts also as the GDACS coordinator for mapping products that can be useful in the emergency response phase. This role facilitates the integration of results from various sources by UNOSAT experts into a web-map that is made publicly available on-line. This GDACS LIVE map has several advantages and allows for very fast updates every time new information is available. The Nepal LiveMap currently includes

  • Status of areas being assessed using satellite imagery (planned, in progress or completed)
  • Consolidated and individual building damage assessments derived from satellite imagery analysis
  • Locations of landslides
  • Satellite imagery derived ground displacement
  • Ground photos from volunteers using the UN-ASIGN smartphone app that uploads photos in near real time onto the LIVE map

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