Satellite Imagery, Mobile Phones and Radios

Earth Observation System Launches in Africa: the SERVIR system integrates satellite resources into a web-based Earth information system, putting previously inaccessible information into action locally.

“A satellite birds-eye view can provide an overall picture of a natural disaster and its consequences,” said Dr. Tesfaye Korme, director of remote sensing and geographic information systems at RCMRD. “The new SERVIR-Africa platform comes just in time to provide us with the satellite data to develop maps of last week’s flooding in western Kenya and eastern Uganda, and estimate the number of displaced people.  We will provide this information to the authorities responsible for disaster response.”

For early warning in advance of events, SERVIR-Africa is developing tools to predict floods in high-risk areas and vector-borne diseases such as Rift Valley Fever. It will also provide visualization capability to map the location of climate change projections so people can see, for example, the potential impact climate change may have on the land resources where they live.  In addition, SERVIR-Africa’s information technology team will use the Internet to serve up satellite and ground-based earth observations, map data, and geospatial analyzes that target issues such as urbanization, biodiversity threats, and management of natural resources.  Mobile phones and radio, too, will be explored as a means to deliver useful information to people.
I’m particularly pleased to read that mobile phones and radios will be explored (and hopefully used) to deliver information at the community level.

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