United States of America

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that its constellation of weather satellites helped save 240 people during 2014 from potentially life-threatening situations throughout the United States and its territorial waters. The statement indicates the importance of satellite-based services as a way to further humanitarian assistance operations when a natural disaster occurs.

Satellites can detect distress signals from emergency beacons carried by downed pilots, shipwrecked boaters, and stranded hikers. Information captured from these satellites, including location, are then relayed to first responders on the ground who assist with search and rescue efforts.Besides the weather satellites, NOAA features polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites that can detect distress signals from emergency warnings carried by downed pilots and shipwrecked boaters, in order to provide location information to facilitate rescue efforts.

NOAA satellites are…

Publishing date 02/02/2015

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced that improved global topographic data are now publicly available for most of Asia (India, China, southern Siberia, Japan, Indonesia), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand), and western Pacific Islands.

Elevation data were collected through the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to deliver precise baseline information that help to better understand the impacts of climate change on specific geographic areas.

The project is the result of the collaborative efforts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

The USGS had previously released elevation data for many countries in…

Publishing date 27/01/2015

In order to simplify and economize the storage and processing of large-scale raster data, the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently made available the new MapReduce Geo (MrGeo) application.

This geospatial toolkit will allow users to benefit from the agency’s collaboration with DigitalGlobe, by decreasing the time needed to search, download, process and format data for analysis.

The main goal is to innovation in the process of storing and analyzing huge amounts of raster data by sharing the open source application with the community and, thereby, accelerating its potential.

Chris Rasmussen, NGA’s public software development lead, stated: “Sharing it with the public gives users at all levels another tool to help solve geospatial problems. For example, first responders could use it to plan the best ways in and out of dangerous areas taking into account terrain, land use, and changes in weather.”

MapReduce Geo will enhance the…

Publishing date 21/01/2015

Acknowledging that technology can play a key role in enhancing preparedness and raising awareness for natural hazards, the United States White House Office of Science and Technology Police (OSTP) organised the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day, featuring disaster-related datasets, tools, and updates.

On this occasion, the portal disaster.data.gov was launched in order to compile open data, tools and other disaster-related resources and make them easily accessible to the public.

The portal includes 114 datasets, from various US organizations, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The resources are divided into six categories, according to the type of disaster, namely: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe winter weather, tornadoes, wildfires…

Publishing date 05/01/2015

On 25 November 2014, the Third Hemispheric Meeting of the Inter-American Network for Disaster Mitigation took place at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC.

The representatives of member states gathered with the purpose of sharing good practices and lessons learnt on the best ways to address the impacts of natural hazards and other emergencies.

The dialogue's theme "Integrating Disaster Risk Management and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Development Agenda" emphasized possibilities for horizontal cooperation and stronger collaboration between the OAS member states, the agencies of the Inter-American Network and the United Nations.

The event was coordinated by the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS and was divided into three discussions panels, where specialists of risk management, mitigation and prevention phases exchanged opinions and ideas on the topic.

The first panel focused on "Risk…

Publishing date 27/11/2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will ensure 15.9 million US dollars to a variety of programmes aimed at increasing resilience for coastal communities in the United States.

The NOAA Sea Grant was announced on 8 October 2014 and will involve over 300 Sea Grant projects, which seek to enhance the long-term vitality of coastal communities and their preparedness to natural hazards, severe weather and climate change unheaven consequences.

Among the Sea Grant's diverse activities, some projects will employ real time satellite remote sensing observation of the Center for Remote Sensing (CRS) for coastal ocean observing systems (COOS) as well as high resolution data gathered from the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

Visit the Sea Grant Projects section of NOOA's website for further information.

Publishing date 04/11/2014

CASIS, the nonprofit organization managing research in the U.S. National Laboratory aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has issued a request for proposals in the field of remote sensing until 21 February 2014.

The request specifies: "CASIS is confident that this Request for Proposals will attract both experienced and new-to-space investigators for the development and deployment for testing (for 90 days or less) of sensors or instrumentation for remote sensing or for the utilization of existing hardware for remote sensing on the ISS U.S. National Laboratory. Proposals should seek to use the National Lab for development of sensors and/or use of existing hardware for studies of Earth, Earth’s atmosphere, and astronomy and planetary science with the goal of benefiting life on…

Publishing date 14/01/2014

GIS Day, the annual worldwide salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and enhance lives, is going to be extra this year in Aggieland, where the Texas A&M celebration, one of the world’s largest, is expanding to encompass three event-packed days, Nov. 17–19.

Global information systems are a big deal at Texas A&M, so we are expanding our annual GIS Day to showcase the utility, diversity and universal impact of this essential technology that informs research campuswide,” said Andrew Klein, associate professor of geography. “The event also underscores the increasing need to prepare growing numbers of students who will be using geospatial technologies throughout their careers. Simply put, GIS links locations (where things are) to information (what things are), allowing us to visualize, question, analyze and interpret data and better understand relationships, patterns and trends. GIS applications, virtually limitless, are increasingly requisite to…


The application of Earth Observation (EO) datasets for Sustainable Development is a fast-growing field. EO innovations are contributing to the delivery of economic and societal benefit to developing countries, helping them meet their Sustainable Development Goals. There is great potential to build on the unique strengths that the space sector has to deliver sustainable development objectives, especially in data-sparse regions. In developing nations, where there is a need to bridge the gap between existing technologies and operational applications, EO technology can enhance the capability to monitor the Earth’s vital resources, and to support planning, design, operation, and management processes of various sectors.

The ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems 2019 (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019), the twenty seventh edition, will be held in Chicago, November 5-8, 2019. It began as a series of symposia and workshops starting in 1993 with, the aim of bringing together researchers, developers, users, and practitioners in relation to novel systems based on geo- spatial data and knowledge, and fostering interdisciplinary discussions and research in all aspects of geographic information systems. The conference provides a forum for original research contributions covering all conceptual, design, and implementation aspects of geospatial data ranging from applications, user interfaces, and visualization to data storage and query processing and indexing. The conference is the premier annual event of the ACM Special Interest Group on Spatial Information (ACM SIGSPATIAL). Researchers, students, and practitioners are invited to submit…


This training course provides humanitarian professionals the basic skills and knowledge required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellites and drone imagery as well as GIS fundamentals, as part of humanitarian operations. 

At the end of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Understand how satellites and drones are used in humanitarian response.
  • Apply geospatial data to specific humanitarian activities. 
  • Develop geospatial collection and analysis plans for emergencies.
  • Explore the ethical and regulatory issues related to these technologies.
Remote Sensing Workshop

The Remote Sensing Workshop for Humanitarian Response is a five-day training conducted by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The goal of the course is to equip participants with the necessary expertise to manage, design, and utilize remote sensing programs during both natural…


Defense Strategies Institute, in partnership with the SmallSat Alliance, will host a comprehensive two-day summit on how the application of small satellites is transforming the space domain. Together with government, industry and commercial partners this event will present and highlight the technology currently underway and the challenges that exist in enhancing space access and employing SmallSats to ensure space superiority.

The 2nd annual SmallSat & Space Access Summit encourages members of the DoD, Intelligence Community, military services, and critical organizations to come together to discuss solutions and techniques to exploit the space domain.

Topics to be Covered at the 2019 Summit: 

- Assessing the advantages of employing small satellite capabilities to meet operational requirements

- Leveraging small satellites to gather data and enable the effective monitoring of emerging crises

- Operating micro-satellites in low Earth orbit…


The International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM) offers an international conference platform, hosted every 3 years, to discuss a range of flood related issues and realize significant change in a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral area. ICFM8 aims at providing a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences on a range of issues that affect flood management, particularly the need to build resilience into future planning.  The conference will identify key concerns and significant challenges of the future as currently perceived by researchers, industry, policymakers and other flood management stakeholders.

Main Conference Themes

  • Science & Technology for Flood Risk Management
  • Handling Data and Information for Flood Risk Management
  • Flood Disaster Prevention, Mitigation, and Adaptation
  • Flood Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
  • Flood Decision-making, Policy, and Governance
  • Flood Resilience

The world of 2050 will be radically different. It is not at all clear how we will get there from here or how we should navigate through the uncharted waters of the future. Climate change, urbanization, rapid expansion of the Internet and the availability and use of information, the continued evolution of human identity, and changing modes of commerce, cooperation, and conflict from local to global scales are just some of the many trends influencing the future. Each poses many challenges and opportunities for how we perceive and shape our world’s geography now and in coming decades.

To help lay the foundation for exploring these local, regional and global challenges—and the investments in technology, data, laws, policies, and capacities needed to improve our ability to navigate through them—the American Geographical Society is collaborating with the Earth Institute, Columbia University to organize an Expedition to the Future.


The International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) is the leading humanitarian technology event of the year, bringing together the most important humanitarian, human rights, development and media organizations with the world's best technology companies, software developers and academics. As thus one of the few neutral spaces where such important conversations can take place, the annual ICCM conference brings together a wide range of diverse actors for important conversations that lead to concrete new projects and deliverables across a variety of diverse domains. As a community of practice, the ICCM thus helps facilitate new projects and catalyzes innovation in the area of humanitarian technology.

The theme for this year's event, Affected Communities in Spotlight, will focus on better engaging and understanding populations as the primary referent during a disaster.

This conference merges up to three unique satellite conferences into one major event. It has been the practice of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Satellite Meteorology, Oceanography, and Climatology (SatMetOC) Committee (organizers of the 23rd AMS Satellite Meteorology, Oceanography and Climatology Conference) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT; organizers of the 2019 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference) to hold joint conferences approximately every six years, most recently in Vienna (2013), and previously in Amsterdam (2007) and Paris (1998).

Major areas of interest: 
  1. New Satellite Systems and Instrumentation—illustrating the potential of new satellite systems to improve weather, climate, and other environmental data products; enhance user application and services, and contribute to blended and fused satellite datasets; future observing system architectures, flight projects, and…


Each year, floods cause devastating losses and damage across the world. Growing population in ill-planned flood prone coastal and riverine areas are increasingly exposed to more extreme rainfall events. With more population and economic asset at risk, governments, banks, international development and relief agencies, and private firms are investing in flood reduction measures. However, in many countries, the flood risk is not managed optimally because of lack of scientific data and methods or a communication gap between science and risk managers.

The Global Flood Partnership is a multi-disciplinary group of scientists, operational agencies and flood risk managers focused on developing efficient and effective global flood tools that can address these challenges. 
The goals of the group are:


The summit will help to find out more about the planned retirement of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), how this will impact the mapping work, and what tools are planned to ease the transition to new, more accurate datums.

This event will be part of a larger conference organized by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and in partnership with the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS). There will be no cost for NGS sessions, but registration is required and space is limited.

Satellite Innovation 2018 has emerged as the premier meeting place for innovative Satellite Executives and Professionals. A focus on imminent changes and market forces that will guide their implementation has attracted a confluence of established market leaders and pioneers of the shifting landscape of SatCom.

This course is the first professional training course with the aim of providing humanitarian professionals basic skills and knowledge required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellite and drone imagery, as part of humanitarian operations. The goal of the course is to equip participants with the necessary expertise to manage, design, and utilize remote sensing programs during both natural disasters and conflict-related emergencies.

The Remote Sensing Workshop for Humanitarian Response is a five-day training conducted by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The course faculty is experienced in remote sensing for humanitarian response, and has extensive expertise in analyzing data from both satellites and from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in real-world-situations. 

Course Objectives

At the end of this course the participant will be able to:

On 3 June 2015, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) GeoSemantics Domain Working Group will host a summit, "GeoSemantics: Standards Intersect Ontologies". This summit will be part of the OGC’s June 2015 Technical Committee meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The Summit’s central topic is the application of ontologies in standards-based geo-information infrastructures.
The idea of the Semantic Web has been around for well over 10 years, and more recently principles of Linked Data have been gaining a lot of momentum. The Semantic Web involves data elements and connections between them being published on the Web in order to provide concrete opportunities for experimentation in semantic applications. Well defined, community agreements on semantics hold considerable promise for solving harmonization and integration of geospatial data sources from different regions, domains, and…

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) invites attendance at the June 2015 OGC Technical Committee Meeting be held at UCAR/NCAR Center Green in Boulder, Colorado 1 June to 5 June, 2015. In addition to a rich agenda of Working Group meetings and special events, there will be a dinner reception and Gardels Award announcement on Wednesday evening at the NCAR/UCAR Mesa Laboratory.

The week’s special events include the final OGC Testbed 11 Demonstration plus: a Point Cloud Ad Hoc meeting, a Geospatial/BIM/Indoor Location Workshop (“GIS BIM” in the TC agenda), a Water Data Summit, and a GeoSemantics Summit. 

OGC Domain Working Groups and Standards Working…


Society is increasingly exposed and vulnerable to frequent reoccurrence of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. In the event of a disaster, there is huge amount of heterogenous data generated by the people and automated systems. For instance, social network data generated by citizens and first responders, satellite images of the affected areas, flood maps generated by drones. This has become a huge global issue that needs to be addressed. To convert this massive heterogenous crisis data into valuable knowledge, there is need to integrate it and extract knowledge in near-real time by means of novel data analytics solutions. Although, currently the analysis is focused on one single type of data (e.g social media, or satellite images).Their integration into big data analytics systems capable of building accurate predictive now cast and forecast models will provide effective support for emergency management.

The workshop aims at involving researchers, practitioners…


Harvard University organizes a workshop called Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs from 26-30 June 2017.

It is a professional training course aimed at providing humanitarian professional basic skills required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellite and drone imagery, as part of humanitarian operations. The goal of the course is to equip participants with the necessary expertise to manage, design, and utilize remote sensing programs during both natural disasters and conflict-related emergencies.The goal is to equip participants with necessary expertise to manage, design and use remote sensing programs both in the cases of natural disasters and conflict-related emergencies.

The course is conducted by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, which is a part of the university's Humanitarian Initiative.The faculty is experienced in remote sensing for humanitarian response and has extensive expertise in satellite data analysis.



The meeting is bringing together the diverse world of OpenStreetMap at a symbolic venue for three days of talks, workshops, and discussions around the project.