Image: USGIF, 2018

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) has recently released a new report on “Building Resilient Communities Through Geospatial Intelligence”. The report highlights the importance of raising awareness about the value of space-based information for early warning systems and risk and disaster management. Moreover, it suggests the need for a better definition of GEOINT within the framework of... read more

Publishing Date: 31/10/2018
Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General, FCSA, UAE, presents a silver falcon to Maya Tissafi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE, as the host of the next World Data Forum. Image: IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

A declaration adopted by a wide range of stakeholders at the second United Nations World Data, calls for an increase in financing for better data and statistics for sustainable development. The Dubai Declaration aims to establish a funding mechanism under the mandate of the United Nations Statistics Commission to raise resources to address the data needs for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and support national statistical systems. The UN World Data Forum 2018 was hosted by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority of the United Arab Emirates and took place from 22 to 24 October 2018.

During the three-day forum, 2,000 data experts from more than 100 countries discussed the challenges and opportunities that data needs to address to contribute to a sustainable future. Among the highlights of the Forum were the launch of a guide to towards integration of data from... read more

Publishing Date: 31/10/2018
Image: UNISDR and CRED.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) have released a new report that highlights the global trends in disaster losses in the period between 1998 and 2017.

“Economic Losses, Poverty & Disasters1998-2017” shows the significant increase of economic losses caused by climate-related disasters since 1970. Between 1978 and 1997, the percentage of economic climate-related damage was 68 per cent in relation to the total losses caused by disasters. By the period... read more

Publishing Date: 23/10/2018
Distribution of Disaster Relief in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 2016. Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi.

Disasters cause tremendous loss of lives and assets around the world. Over the last twenty years, more than 1.35 million people have died, while over 4 billion have been displaced, left homeless, injured or in need of emergency assistance as a result of disasters according to a new report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk... read more

Publishing Date: 13/10/2018
Global TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model. Image: DLR.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has released a 90-metre resolution global elevation model from its TanDEM-X mission for scientific data use. The data is free to download via the new Earth Observation Center (EOC) download service.

Digital Elevation Models (DEM... read more

Publishing Date: 09/10/2018
Children outside a UNICEF-supported water point in a drought-affected region in Ethiopia. Image: UNICEF Ethiopia/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The United Nations, the World Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross and prominent technology companies have jointly launched the new Famine Action Mechanism (FAM). The Mechanism uses a range of data including satellite imagery to predict famines, ultimately aiming to prevent them.

Launched on 23 September, the FAM is a still-evolving algorithm that will use analytics to identify areas that are most likely to experience extreme food shortages.

Google, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services and other technology firms are developing a suite of analytical models called “Artemis” to power the FAM. Artemis can... read more

Publishing Date: 01/10/2018
Image: Screenshot from EO college SAR Turorial

A new online SAR tutorial offered by EO College, a joint education initiative for Radar... read more

Publishing Date: 21/09/2018
Screenshot of "The state of food security and nutrition in the world" by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

“The state of food security and nutrition in the world”, a 2018 global report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO),  highlights the negative impacts of climate variability and extremes on food security and nutrition.

The publication also shows how tools and interventions such as climate risk monitoring and Early Warning Systems (EWS) contribute to improving the... read more

Publishing Date: 20/09/2018
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, has become a data provider in the Group on Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS) Portal. Under the arrangement, selected resources from the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, such as data sources, are made available through the GEOSS platform. UNOOSA participated in the 3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop in Frascati, Italy, from 2 to 4 May to present the results of this integration, exchange with other data providers and explore bringing data relevant for... read more
Publishing Date: 08/05/2018
UN-GGIM Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters

The Working Group on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters (WG-GISD) of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) has published a "Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disaster" to guide all stakeholders and partners in the management of geospatial information and services in all phases of disaster risk management.

The role of geospatial information has been widely recognized as an important aspect of all phases of disaster risk management (DRM). While calling on Member States to find solutions to improve availability and accessibility of geospatial... read more

Publishing Date: 23/08/2017
60th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

The 60th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will take place in Vienna from 7-16 June 2017. COPUOS was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to govern the exploration and use of space for the benefit of all humanity: for peace, security and development. The Committee has since been tasked with reviewing international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, studying space-related activities that could be undertaken by the United Nations, encouraging space research programmes, and studying legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

International cooperation in space exploration and the use of space technology applications to meet global development goals are discussed in the Committee every year. Owing to rapid advances in space technology, the space agenda is constantly... read more

Publishing Date: 06/06/2017
UN-SPIDER's Engagement in Promoting Science and Technology in the Implementation of the Sendai Framework

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, co-chairs the working session on Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction at the 2017 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, which started on 22 May 2017 in Cancun, Mexico. The session focuses on the contribution of science and technology to achieving the 2020 Sendai target on national and sub-national DRR strategies and takes place on ... read more

Publishing Date: 24/05/2017
Drought Early Warning Side Event in MHEWS Cancun 2017

UNOOSA teamed up with FAO to host a side event, on behalf of eight additional partners, during the afternoon session of the first day of the Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference in Cancun, Mexico. The keynote presentations addressed the topic of “Strengthening drought early warning systems” (UNOOSA) and FAO’s Agricultural Stress Index System (ASIS), followed by a panel discussion.

The devastation of droughts can be far-... read more

Publishing Date: 23/05/2017
Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference Opened in Cancun

The highly anticipated 2017 Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference kicked off today in Cancun, Mexico. The Conference will take place over the course of the next two days and is being hosted by the Government of Mexico. It will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Global Platform for... read more

Publishing Date: 22/05/2017
Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017

The issue of early warning systems in case of extreme weather events is currently being discussed at the 69th Session of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council in Geneva, which will run till 17 May.

The principal topic of this session is strengthening weather and climate services to protect lives, property and economies from extreme weather. WMO Secretary General, Petteri Taalas, highlighted enhanced partnership and cooperation between UN agencies to meet the needs of development and humanitarian agencies in times of increased extreme weather events, exacerbated by... read more

Publishing Date: 16/05/2017
Image courtesy of ESA
After one week in orbit, ESA’s new Sentinel 2-B satellite delivered its first images of Earth. The first acquisition began over the Baltic sea and made a strip-like observation through eastern Europe down to northern Libya. The images were sent to the Matera ground station in Italy, where they have been processed afterwards. You can see some of the images here:   The high-resolution of 10 m per... read more
Publishing Date: 18/03/2017
The Natural Hazards journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards has published a special issue entitled “Geospatial data for multi... read more
Publishing Date: 10/03/2017
Image courtesy of ESA.

On 7 March 2017 ESA launched the new Sentinel-2B satellite from the Kourou spatial station in French Guyana as a twin to the Sentinel-2A which has been in orbit since June 2015.  Together, the two Sentinel satellites will cover the surface of the Earth every five days.  This improved coverage will be of extreme value to those involved in disaster risk reduction and... read more

Publishing Date: 08/03/2017
Image courtesy of NASA/NOAA

GOES-16 is the first spacecraft of NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) next-generation geostationary satellites.  NASA informed on 23 January 2017 that it had sent the first high-resolution images. This incredibly sharp imagery now opens new weather forecasting possibilities, as it provides more detailed view of hazardous weather and reveals features that previous instruments might have missed. The forecast can thus be more accurate and provide better information to... read more

Publishing Date: 14/02/2017
Images courtesy of NASA.

NASA’s platform Images of Change has added new series of images that show how the mankind has changed the planet. The images were being captured over time and then compared; the changes can be seen clearly. They show e.g. shrinking glaciers, deforestation, urbanization, lake level fluctuations and other phenomenon. To see the changes, click here:,-arizona. According to NASA these images serve as a source for studying the planet Earth’s transformation as well as for creating necessary policy measures.

Read more at: read more

Publishing Date: 04/02/2017

The 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Cancun, Mexico on 22-26 May. It is the first time that the Global Platform Session is hosted outside Geneva. There are more than 5,000 participants expected, including policy makers and disaster risk managers.

The Global Platform is being held biennially since 2007 and it is one of the world’s biggest gatherings of disaster risk reduction stakeholders. It brings together government officials as well as leaders from the private sector, science and civil society and it facilitates the dialogue among them.  The Platform also aims to establish a stronger and more sustainable movement towards disaster risk reduction and create new alliances for the investment, development and use of tools applied in disaster risk reduction.

UN-SPIDER will take part in the Global Platform Session as it... read more

Publishing Date: 03/02/2017
Sentinel-2 maps changes in inland water bodies. Image: courtesy of ESA

Scientists from the Join Research Center collaborating with Google have quantified changes in global water surface which are documented in interactive maps they created for the modifications happening over the past three decades.

They created the Global Surface Water Explorer using more than three million satellite scenes collected between 1984 and 2015 and produced using 10000 computers running at the same time.  Each individual image was converted into a set of global maps with a resolution of 30 meters allowing the users to assess changes in the location and persistence of surface water at the local, regional and global levels.  

The Explorer shows that water surface have increased during the considered time period. While some 90000 km2 of permanent surface water is disappearing,... read more

Publishing Date: 09/12/2016
Lanslide. Image: NASA

Extreme events like heavy rainfall, storms or hurricane activate landslides. Unstable soil surface conditions can make heavy rains act as the triggering point for mud, rocks and/or debris to move down from mountains and hillsides. These mass movements cause unexpected human and economical losses. Heavy rainfall is the most common cause for landslides although earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, collapse of groundwater reservoirs, ice melt can also cause them.

NASA developed the Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) to indentify rainfall-triggered landslides incidents in the planet, no matter the size, impact or location. The GLC collects information from media, disaster databases, scientific reports and other sources. The Catalog has been gathered since 2007 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. For more information on the GLC please click... read more

Publishing Date: 12/11/2016
IMERG visualization. Image: NASA

The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurment or IMERG released through NASA GES DISC, is a global rainfall dataset providing precipitation rates for the whole planet every half hour. Estimating the amount of accumulated rainfall for any region over a period of time is possible using IMERG. The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio site offers an animation that shows an example of rainfall in the planet during a week in August, 2014 and can be accessed here


Publishing Date: 12/11/2016
View from Space Station. Image: NASA

The World Science Day for Peace and Development established by UNESCO in 2001 is commemorated every year on 10 November. It is not only a symbolic but essential celebration considering that Science is at the center to reach the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Action and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The peaceful use of Space science and technology is vital for economic and social development in different fields like agriculture, global health, environment, sustainable development, education, Humanitarian assistance among others.  In the case of Disaster Management, the use of technology helps to reduce the impact of disasters... read more

Publishing Date: 11/11/2016


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