The United States has announced that it will make high-resolution topographic data available globally in 2015. Previously, the data generated from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000 was only available in the US.
The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 22 August 2014 to provide satellite-based maps to Bangladesh due to severe flooding events. The mechanism was triggered by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA. The project management of the activation is handled by AIT.
On 18 August 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, at the request of NRSC / ISRO in order to provide space-based product.
Heavy rains in the Himalayas have triggered flooding in many parts of India with up to 1500 villages affected, a death toll of over 60 and many more people missing. Major rivers and tributaries in the area have risen to dangerous levels, triggering an unprecedented flood situation.
On 18 August 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods and landslides in the Republic of Panama at the request of the USGS on behalf of SINAPROC / Chiriqui Province / Municipality of Tierra Alta.
On 5 August 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods in Sudan at the request of the UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA. The mechanism will provide space-based maps of the affected area.
Flood, caused by several weeks of heavy rain, has caused 20 casualties and made 6,000 individuals homeless, as 3,000 houses were destroyed and more than 2,000 affected.
The training was conducted by experts from UN-SPIDER, the International Water Management Institute, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC)
A total of 20 officials from 17 government departments in Bangladesh participated in the programme. These departments included: Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization (SPARRSO), Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics , Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) , Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) , Forest Department, Flood Forecast and Warning Center (FFWC), Joint Rivers Commission, Bangladesh (JRCB), Urban Development Directory (UDD) , Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) , Dhaka University (DU), Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) , Geography /Disaster Science and Mngt. Dept, Dhaka, Dhaka WASA, Armed Forces Division (AFD), Survey of Bangladesh (SoB), Water Resources Management Organization (WRMO).
The training covered a wide range of topics such as an overview of the role of Earth Observation in disaster management, the regional plan of action on promoting Space and GIS applications for disaster risk management and sustainable development, global and regional flood hotspot assessment, flood hazard/risk mapping, multi-hazard risk and vulnerability assessment, flood inundation mapping using multi-resolutionsatellitedata, flood response rapid mapping etc. Participants were also offered hands-on sessions to develop skills in mapping and modelling floods.
The complete training report is available for download here.