A deep and persistent drought struck vast portions of the continental United States in 2012. Though there has been some relief in the late summer, a pair of satellites operated by NASA shows that the drought lingers in the underground water supplies that are often tapped for drinking water and farming.
On 18 September 2012, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods in Pakistan. Torrential rain, which began on 5 September, had caused flash floods in Pakistan leaving an estimated one million people homeless.
The satellite imagery provider GeoEye announced an agreement with Fugro for online imagery dissemination through Fugro World, Fugro's global portal for delivery of data and solutions. GeoEye’s EyeQ platform will be integrated with Fugro World to support online access to satellite imagery.
GMES, the European Earth Monitoring programme, has published a user guide to its new, free of charge emergency mapping service, the GMES Initial Operations Emergency Management Service (GIO EMS-Mapping). The guide will be made available on the GIO Portal.
Geoscience Australia (GA) will soon publish free satellite images in near real time. The images will be captured by the satellite Landsat 8, expected to launch in early 2013 and to be fully operational by May or June of that year. They will be published online under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.
DigitalGlobe Inc has struck a deal to buy GeoEye Inc for $453 million, creating the world's largest provider of commercial satellite imagery. These two companies are the only suppliers of commercial satellite imagery to U.S. spy and military agencies. They are joining forces ahead of drastic cuts expected in the U.S. defense budget. Moreover, the combined company aims to prompt its commercial and international trade in an attempt to reduce dependence on the U.S. government.