France to make older Spot images available to researchers for free

The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that is at least five years old.

The Jan. 23 announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made Jan. 17 during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

imagespot France to make older Spot images available to researchers for freeCNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercializes Spot data.

CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”

CNES has already begun processing, at its own charge, a first tranche of 100,000 images that will be available later this year.

The French government decision follows a similar decision, made in 2013, by the European Commission to make freely available much of the data from the future Copernicus series of optical and radar Earth observation satellites. At the same time, the commission is taking steps to protect the still-fragile European private sector that makes a business of selling imagery commercially.

Source: Spacenews

WATER H@CKATHON: AppFest Registration Going on !!!!!!!!!!!

 

Water Hackathon App Fest Bangladesh 2014 by World Bank has started registration process ! Join in http://www.hackathonbd.com/participate/

In the Hackathon event there will be four kinds of registration process in the category of Problem Solvers, Tech-Mentors, Financiers, Problem statement Owners.

Problem Solvers
If you are an university student or tech professional doing job/business, you can team up with up to 5 multi-disciplinary members and register for the event to solve given problems. Outcome/solutions will be mobile apps for any platform.

Tech-Mentors
If you are expert in a particular sector in making apps, you can register yourself as mentor of the team. Your responsibility will be helping the participating problem solving team from your area of expertise. You also can choose to work with the tea after Hackathon to develop the Mobile apps further.

Financiers
It is good chance for investing or helping the problem solver teams to mentor/networking them to get access to finance (i.e. seed funding etc.) to develop their Mobile app prototype further. These are very innovative solutions. So, you can register your organisation or individually to find investment scopes.

Problem statement Owners
All those problems are coming from development sector in the thematic area of Water, Sanitation, Health and behavior changing education. We welcome GO/NGO/INGO/NFP/Donor/Private sector and any other organisations who have experience working in these thematic area and especially interest to implement/integrate these solutions to their own project to register in this category.

It is REGISTERED ONLY event. So register for the event the way you want to get involved with this COOL & Global standard event
arranged by World Bank.

You may find following links useful.

Hackathon Event
http://www.hackathonbd.com/hackathon-event/

Hackathon AppFest in a Glance
http://www.hackathonbd.com/water-hackathon-appfest-in-a-glance/

Recent Significant Disasters in the Asia and Pacific Region

he Asia and the Pacific region has experienced some of the most damaging disasters in recent decades, with alarming consequences for human welfare. At the same time, the climate in the region has been changing. Temperatures have been higher, on average, and also more variable and more extreme. Countries in Asia and the Pacific are more prone to natural disasters than those in other parts of the world, with people in the region four times more likely to be affected by natural catastrophe than those in Africa and 25 times more vulnerable than Europeans or North Americans, a United Nations report released  shows. Major natural disasters around Asia and the Pacific in 2013 have caused tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damages in recent years. This interactive infographic creeated by Asian Development Bank details the scope and scale of these devastating events:

 

Mapping Air Pollution

Pulling real time data from the city government of Madrid, Into the Air is a project led by Nerea Calvillo (along with a team of architectural students, anthropologists, and designers) to map out air pollutants over the Spanish city.  The project was originally developed at Visualizar’08, an annual workshop/seminar that focused that year’s efforts on urban data visualization.

The 8mb Java applet tracks in real time five different air pollutants: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxide (NO), Particulate PM10, and Ozone (03).  Each of these contaminants was chosen based on its potential to cause serious health effects.  The applet has controls for zoom, tilt, menu options (to select the types of contaminants mapped and data stations), as well as a slider for selecting the time frame.  The autoplay function plays the mapped air pollutants back in time at one hour increments.

It’s fascinating to see the peaks and lows of air pollutants and how different contaminants peak in different areas of the city across the course of a day.

Into the Air: Air Pollution Mapping.

There is a prototype in the works for creating a physical version of the air mapping model that would the facade of buildings to display air pollutant levels:

The building would become a 24 hour active indicator of environmental conditions, blurring architecture with atmosphere, informing and mediating the bodies that come into contact with it.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

The site indicates that the code for the applet will be released shortly and invites those interested to visit the Processing sketch that was created for the project.  Budapest and Santiago de Chile have also had code developed for mapping out air pollutants.

http://gislounge.com

 

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Aid workers are getting vital details about the trail of destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan, including damage to individual streets and buildings, from online maps developed with contributions from Red Cross staff and volunteers across the world.

A British Red Cross team is using the latest satellite photos and reports from a range of sources to help update maps that could save lives in the aftermath of the disaster.

The work, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team project – an interactive map that can be viewed and edited by anyone with an internet connection.

The British Red Cross mapping team has 17 members and has been active since 2010, but in the wake of the disaster is focusing its efforts on a single task for the first time.

How the mapping process works

Using satellite images taken after the typhoon, the team is updating maps of the worst affected areas with information about damage to buildings. By looking at recent pictures to find out whether structures are partly or totally destroyed, they can give aid workers information about blocked roads or the scale of destruction in a particular neighbourhood.

Other details mapped include the number of people reported missing in different areas and the location of Red Cross aid workers. Sources include figures from the Red Cross and other organisations like the UN. The maps are ‘layered’ so users can choose to see the information that’s relevant to them.

Updates are made every hour of every day, so the maps are constantly evolving source of data. In a fast-changing situation like the aftermath of a typhoon, up-to-date information can make a huge difference to the work of those on the ground.

Andrew Braye, who leads the British Red Cross’ involvement in the project, said the organisation is using this kind of mapping more and more. It’s made possible by new technology and the growth of online collaboration tools such as OpenStreetMap and Google Docs. These let individuals and organisations work together to create new online tools that can be used by everyone.

But it takes smart planning to deliver good results. “The trick is doing what’s useful and not duplicating what other people are doing,” Andrew said.IFRC typhoon damage

Tacloban building damage map blogpic“It’s amazing to help”

The team has been using its mapping expertise to support the British Red Cross for three years – helping everyone from aid workers planning trips abroad to volunteers dealing with emergencies in the UK.

As well as Red Cross staff, its members include digital volunteers recruited through adverts on the internet and events linked to digital mapping. The team usually works on a wide range of projects – but for the first time has come together to focus on a single task.

Volunteer Johnny Henshall has recently completed a Masters in geographical information systems. He said: “It’s a chance for me to use the skills I’ve just got. This is what I want to be doing. It’s amazing to be able to help – there aren’t many opportunities to do this for a humanitarian organisation.”

Andrew says the team’s “revolving door” of volunteers brings in people with highly specialised skills who would normally cost a huge amount to employ. But many are willing to give their time for a few weeks or months between paid contracts.

Could you join the team?

If you have some spare time and know how to use PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer and OpenLayers, the team would like to hear from you. Email them for more information.

http://blogs.redcross.org.uk