As the capabilities of commercial satellites have continued to improve over the last decade, organizations such as UNITAR/UNOSAT (United Nations Institute for Training and Research/ Operational Satellite Applications Progamme) have been making progress toward a goal of using imagery to stop humanitarian disasters before they start. Although current efforts aren't without problems, the potential for future is promising:
(Sensors and Systems, November 26, 2013)
Comment: In my opinion, this article has at least three key takeaways:
- Speed is life when it comes to using imagery for this purpose.
- Go for a "quick-look" first, then follow up with high-resolution as needed, and as time allows.
- The Achilles heel is no longer the lack of data to show, it's managing the flood data that's available.
Graphic credit: DigitalGlobe