Earth Science News  





.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Better Mapping Of Human Settlements Supports Disaster Management

Only one hundred years ago, the world's population was less than 2 billion people. Today, the current world population is approaching 7 billion and by 2030 it is expected to reach 10 billion. It is expected that 70% of the world population will be urban by 2050 and that most urban growth will occur in less developed countries. Furthermore, a high proportion of this urban growth is expected to be in cities that are at risk of an increased frequency and intensity of natural and man-made disasters. File image courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Feb 24, 2011
When a major disaster strikes in remote parts of the world, knowing if the area is populated, and how densely, is crucial for the effective organisation of humanitarian operations. The Global Human Settlements Layer (GHSL), developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), will soon provide this detailed information for the first time on a global scale.

The breakthrough is new advanced algorithms, developed by the JRC, that allow automatic analysis of medium resolution data provided by European satellites. The first test results confirm that the combined use of ICT technologies permit fast and precise mapping of built-up areas, anywhere in the world.

In addition, the algorithms allow massive datasets to be processed more efficiently and rapidly, making it possible to monitor the changes in human settlements regularly and equally importantly, to collect the same information from heterogeneous satellite data. This can help to reduce risks in areas that experience recurrent disasters and to focus post-disaster humanitarian interventions on the most likely populated places in disaster affected countries and regions.

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre, in collaboration with the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation Ground Segment Department (EOP-G) has produced the first prototype of a new Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) using European radar satellite (ENVISAT) capacity and advanced automatic pattern recognition algorithms.

One of the major problems in disaster-struck areas in less developed countries is the lack of relevant and up to date pre-disaster information that can help to quickly locate and assess the type and extent of damage, especially in populated places. The GHSL will help to focus damage analysis very quickly over populated places, leading to improvements in emergency rescue and humanitarian relief operations.

The GHSL will help to improve the quantification of the building stock which is valuable information both for risk assessment activities and for emergency rescue operations. As the building stock is an indicator of human presence, this critical piece of information on population (often lacking in remote areas) can help the first responder communities to focus their efforts in a particular area.

Human settlements in Africa - successful test of JRC's algorithms
The first test results produced by the automatic inferential system, designed and developed by the JRC, cover most of the African continent's surface, proving that the combined use of medium resolution imagery and advanced algorithms allow fast and precise mapping of built-up areas anywhere in the world.

The inferential system successfully classified about 4 billion image elements related to 270 scenes pertaining to the ENVISAT ASAR sensor provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). The results confirm notable expected improvements using 75m resolution data processed by means of the JRC's method over already available human settlement data.

These previous data were produced from 500m resolution data of the US MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer instrument aboard the Terra EOS satellite and of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) data at 3 km resolution.

During 2011, the rest of the global landmass will be processed by the JRC using available European radar satellite capacity in order to complete the production of the first ever global human settlement layer.

Moreover, the GHSL concept has an open and scalable design based on semantic interoperability and consistent multi-scale reasoning. This means that heterogeneous platforms, including existing and planned optical and radar sensors can contribute to refining the overall GHSL picture in a consistent manner.

The added value of geo-spatial information for crisis management in an urban world
Only one hundred years ago, the world's population was less than 2 billion people. Today, the current world population is approaching 7 billion and by 2030 it is expected to reach 10 billion. It is expected that 70% of the world population will be urban by 2050 and that most urban growth will occur in less developed countries. Furthermore, a high proportion of this urban growth is expected to be in cities that are at risk of an increased frequency and intensity of natural and man-made disasters.

The combined use of better spatial resolution satellite data and of an automatic pattern recognition algorithm means that we can now process massive datasets more efficiently and rapidly than ever before. It also allows regular monitoring of the changes in the patterns of human settlement landscape anywhere in the world. These advances also imply that we are able to potentially look at human settlement characteristics and patterns in more detail than previous global analysis attempts.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Joint Research Centre at EU
G-POD at ESA
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Hopes for survivors fade in quake-hit Christchurch
Christchurch, New Zealand (AFP) Feb 24, 2011
A 'miracle' was required to find more survivors amid the wreckage of earthquake-hit Christchurch, Prime Minister John Key said Thursday, as the focus turned to recovering bodies. Two days after the 6.3-magnitude quake flattened buildings in New Zealand's second city, police said there had been no communication with people trapped inside the rubble for 24 hours, reducing the chances of findin ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Makeshift toilets part of life in quake-hit city

Chile survivors live in squalor a year after quake

Insurer Allianz sees ops profit of 8 bln euros this year

Better Mapping Of Human Settlements Supports Disaster Management

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Plants That Can Move Inspire New Adaptive Structures

Dell plans China expansion: state media

Japan's NEC in LCD tie-up with China's Tianma

Apple stockholders keep CEO succession plan private

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
California water future called 'bleak'

Brown Tide Culprit Sequenced: Genome Of The First Of Algal Bloom Species

Oldest Water On Earth

Fishing Down Food Web Leaves Less Big Fish, More Small Fish

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Old Salt Suggests Marine Life Is Capturing More Carbon

Climate change halves Peru glacier: official

Carbon Sink At South Pole Has Grown Recently

Massive iceberg shears off glacier after quake hit

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Transitioning To Organic Farming

Applications for modified animals debated

High food prices threaten seething Mideast

Examining Climate Change Effects On Wheat

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
NZealand says one-third of quake city faces demolition

New Zealand earthquake toll surges to 145 dead

Mud volcano set to erupt for quarter-century - scientists

No signs of life as NZ quake toll rises to 113

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ivory Coast envoy reports for duty

New 'environment governance' on agenda in Nairobi

Nigerian troops uncover weapons cache

Three soldiers killed by Casamance rebels: military source

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Men's cosmetics take off in China

Remains of Ice Age child found in Alaska

Study: Low self-esteem increases bias

Testing The Limits Of Where Humans Can Live


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement