European scientists to develop more accurate flood forecasting
Wed Dec 5 2012
In the context of the heavy rains and floods that affected the UK lately, the need for methods how to more accurately predict heavy rainfall over land surface has become evident. Existing computer models used in the UK cannot show exactly where the rain will accumulate and cause problems.
Professor Paul Bates from the University of Bristol has been working on this problem for much of the last...
IGAC: LiDAR processing and its use in modeling of flooding in urban zones
Tue Dec 4 2012
UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) is doing a research project about LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging Laser). LiDAR is a type of active remote sensor whose processing is not yet very common neither in Colombia nor in the countries of our region. These sensors emit millions of laser pulses which then backscatter to the sensor. The...
Typhoon Bopha: UN-SPIDER facilitates acquisition of satellite data
Mon Dec 3 2012
Based on a communication with the Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Pacific Office, UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER today requested the activation of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" to assess the damage caused by Super Typhoon Bopha that hit the island nation Palau on early morning of 3 Dec 2012. The activation aims at assessing damage associated with the wind, the storm...
Extreme weather events: Developing countries hit hardest in 2011
Fri Nov 30 2012
In 2011, poorer developing countries have been hit much harder in average than other countries, according to the new edition of the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2013, which was released in Doha on 27 November. Many of the worst natural disasters of 2011 were also the most severe the affected countries had ever experienced. Brazil, Cambodia, El Salvador, Laos and Thailand appear in...
International Charter activated for Flood in England
Fri Nov 30 2012
The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was activated on 27 November 2012 by the Environment Agency of England and Wales, after widespread floods had hit a number of regions. Among the affected areas are: Somerset levels, Oxford, Tewkesbury, Darlington to York, Nene Washlands, and Nottingham. Approximately 1,800 properties have flooded since last Wednesday, while flood...
UNOOSA holds workshop on Space Applications for Socio-Economic Benefits
Wed Nov 28 2012
On 12 to 16 November 2012, UNOOSA organized the Workshop "Space Technology Applications for Socio-Economic Benefits" in Santiago de Chile, Chile. The Workshop was the third activity of the UN Progamme on Space Applications focusing exclusively on socio-economic benefits of space technology applications. In 2010 and 2011 two previous workshops were held in Turkey and Vietnam.
CongoSat1: Chinese company will launch DR Congo's first satellite
Wed Nov 28 2012
China Great Wall Industry Corp will launch the Democratic Republic of the Congo's first satellite, which will also be developed by China, before the end of 2015, according to a contract signed on 17 November 2012. The Chinese company is the country's only authorized provider of commercial satellite launch services for international clients. The contract for CongoSat 1, a communications satellite...
Myanmar: Training the use of Geo-informatics for Disaster Risk Management
Tue Nov 27 2012
UN-SPIDER and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), prospective Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER, are jointly organizing a national training course on Geo-informatics for Disaster Risk Management in Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital of Myanmar from 26-30 November 2012. The programme is supported by the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) of the Ministry of Social...
Philippine Conference stresses importance of GIS for disaster risk reduction
Tue Nov 27 2012
The recently- conducted GIS 8 Network 6th Conference and 14th Regional Assembly underscored the benefits of optimizing the use of geospatial information in support to disaster risk reduction and management. Held on November 15-16, 2012 at the Leyte Park Resort Hotel, the conference which was hosted by the Department of Agriculture Region 8, centered on the theme “GIS in Aid for Disaster...
EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service (EARS) turns 10
Mon Nov 26 2012
For ten years the EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service (EARS) has been providing real-time satellite data from areas where traditional observational data are sparse. The launch of Metop-B this year means continuity for this vital service for at least another decade.
The Regional Data Service provides users with quick access to data from EUMETSAT’s Metop and NOAA POES’ polar-...
AMESD Africa Continental Environmental Bulletin available
Fri Nov 23 2012
The African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) released a new issue of their Continental Environmental Bulletin for Africa. Based on the analysis of remote sensing imagery and of derived environmental indicators, the publication looks at rainfall conditions, vegetation conditions, fires as well as on rainfall and vegetation anomalies on the African continent. It...
ESA: European Ministers allocate €10 billion for European space activities
Fri Nov 23 2012
On 21 November 2012, ESA concluded a successful two-day Council meeting at ministerial level in Naples, Italy. Ministers from ESA’s 20 member states and Canada allocated €10 billion for ESA’s space activities and programmes for the years to come.
Ministers focused the investments on fields with high growth potential or with a direct and immediate impact on the economy such as...
Disaster Risk Reduction: UN to develop an action plan
Fri Nov 23 2012
A major initiative to develop a UN strategic plan of action for disaster risk reduction and resilience got underway on 19 November 2012 at UNESCO HQ as representatives from 20 UN agencies and programmes convened for a two-day UN High Level Retreat.
The goal is to produce a plan of action in four months and identify key milestones for the finalization, ownership and implementation. In her opening...
IGAC researches automatic Flood Area Extraction
Wed Nov 21 2012
UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), is currently researching automatic flooded area extraction. The experts are implementing the Adaboost algorithm, which is a change detection procedure. This algorithm consists in creating a strong classifier that is built from a small group of weak classifiers. IGAC's approach uses the medium, mean...
Central America: New Portal for Disaster Risk Management launched
Tue Nov 20 2012
The Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC) in Guatemala launched on 19 November 2012 an online Platform for Information and Communication for Integrated Risk Management: www.info-gir.org. The website offers a range of information and applications that help strengthen mechanisms for coordination and institutional and sectoral communication between the...
ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite: Lower orbit for better results
Mon Nov 19 2012
ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite has already delivered the most accurate gravity map of Earth, but its orbit is now being lowered in order to obtain even better results. The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) has been orbiting Earth since March 2009, reaching its ambitious objective to map our planet’s gravity with unrivalled precision.
The control team began the...
Earth Observation: China launches Huanjing-1C
Mon Nov 19 2012
China conducted its 16th orbital launch of the year by orbiting the third satellite on its Environmental Protection & Disaster Monitoring Constellation. The Huanjing-1C (Environment-1C) satellite was launched at 22:53 UTC on Sunday, 18 November 2012, from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center’s LC9 Launch Platform using the Long March 2C (Chang Zheng-2C) launch vehicle.
This was the 171st...
PreventionWeb turns five
Fri Nov 16 2012
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of PreventionWeb which is now used by 55,000 unique visitors every month as a common platform for disaster risk reduction professionals to find and share information and collaborate on disaster risk reduction issues. “Our initial goal was to help people make sense of the disaster risk reduction...
Mexico to launch first state-funded satellite
Thu Nov 15 2012
The Bicentenario satellite, the state-run Mexsat system's first launch into space, is ready for lift-off next month and will begin operating in orbit in late January 2013, the Mexican government announced. The Communications and Transportation Department said in a communique that Deputy Secretary Hector Olavarria visited the facilities of the US firm manufacturing the satellite, Orbital Sciences...
American Red Cross Disaster Services partners up with ViaSat
Wed Nov 14 2012
The American Red Cross Disaster Services is using Exede Enterprise satellite services from ViaSat Inc. to provide satellite connectivity during disaster response. Exede Enterprise services can provide download speeds up to 15Mbps using the transformational high-capacity satellite system created by ViaSat, extending the economic and performance benefits of high-capacity Ka-band satellites to...