Colombia

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Natural-colour Sentinel-2A image of Mexico City and surroundings. Image: Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

Under the annual theme "Towards A Safer Urban Future", the 2nd Resilient Infrastructure Forum took place in Colombia from 4 to 6 June 2019. The Forum aimed to develop a coordinated long-term strategy to overcome challenges posed by disasters, such as severe storms, tsunamis or earthquakes in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the event, UN-SPIDER underlined the benefits of space-based information for understanding the exposure of coastal urban infrastructure to natural hazards and highlighted how land-use changes, which can be observed through a combination of space data and aerial photography, lead to more frequent and more intense floods in cities in the region.

By enhancing the capacity of the region's institutions and private sector to plan, design and implement investments in... read more

Publishing Date: 06/06/2019
Mocoa landslide in Colombia in 2017. Image: OCHA Colombia / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Colombian National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (Unidad Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres, UNGRD) has recently published the “Colombia Risk Atlas: Revealing Latent Disasters”. The publication strengthens the understanding of disaster risks at the national and regional level, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The Atlas highlights different studies and technological innovations related to natural and technological hazards as well as statistical methods to... read more

Publishing Date: 29/11/2018

The Research and Development Center of Geographic Information (CIAF), an arm of the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC), is developing a risk assessment system for the city of Villavicencio in Colombia. IGAC is a Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER and responsible for advancing geographic investigations for the development of Colombia, and educating and training professionals in geographic information technologies.

The institute's new system includes the risk assessment of floods, landslides, debris and mudflow for the rural and urban area of the municipality. Previously, risk assessments and the regulation of land use in the country were traditionally carried out as relatively independent processes. This made a tangible adoption and implementation of risk management processes based on non-reactive intervention... read more

Publishing Date: 18/05/2018
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Image courtesy of NASA

Floods in Colombia, Disaster Charter has been activated

Heavy rain caused rivers to burst their banks sending an avalanche of floodwater, mud and debris in the city of Mocoa in southern Colombia. The country’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, declared a state of emergency in the region. According to the aid officials, at least 206 people... read more

Publishing Date: 04/04/2017
IGAC conducts training course on satellite information for drought early warning systems

The Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute -IGAC, through its Center for Research and Development of Geographic Information (CIAF), conducted a workshop on 27 October 2016 on the use of satellite information in early warning systems to deal with drought phenomena. The workshop was attended by professionals from entities including the National Institute of Innovation and Transfer in Agricultural Technology of Costa Rica  (INTA), and the Agricultural Planning Unit - UPRA of Colombia.

This workshop included in the generation of drought maps based on the application of spectral indexes such as: the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) and the Standard Vegetation Index (SVI), using the R software. The development of this workshop was based on the recommended practices for drought monitoring from the Vegetation Condition Index, practices that are linked to the UN-SPIDER SEWS-D (Strengthening... read more

Publishing Date: 09/12/2016
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Contraction and expansion of water bodies during La Niña event in Colombia

The Colombian Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER (IGAC) has provided a new Recommended Practice with detailed step-by-step procedures on how to derive useful information from satellite imagery. The practice deals with the changes in the extent of water bodies during... read more

Publishing Date: 28/01/2016
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Colombia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh will receive Esri's support to become more climate-resilient (Image: US Navy)

Colombia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh will receive Esri’s support to enhance their climate resilience. They will learn how to visualize, understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Together with the White House and six other institutions, Esri will contribute through tools and trainings to the climate-resilient development of these three countries. Esri has already established a collaborative resource portal for Ethiopia on its online mapping and analysis platform, ArcGIS online, and is planning a further... read more

Publishing Date: 11/06/2015
Opencast mining image in the north-eastern of Antioquia, Colombia (Image: IGAC/CIAF)

The Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) through its Research and Development in Geographic Information - CIAF, is developing a methodology to support the identification of illegal areas of opencast mining activities in the north-east of Antioquia Department, Colombia, by using remote sensing and geographic information systems.

According to reports of Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2011, 63% of the mines do not have legal permits. This makes it very difficult to control, monitor and regulate, which generates environmental and social risks at all levels. The situation greatly affects local communities.

The methodological design of the approach is based on the processing of remote sensing images such as RapidEye, Ultra CAMD and LDCM Landsat 8, visual interpretation, Object-Oriented Image Processing and... read more

Publishing Date: 04/06/2015
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International Geomatic Week 2015 will particularly focus on "Geospatial information for building peace"

IGAC, the Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, as part of the celebration of its 80 year anniversary, is presenting the sixth edition of the International Geomatics Week. This time the event will take place between 10 and 14 August of 2015 at the Wyndham Hotel Bogota, Colombia.

International Geomatic Week 2015 will focus on "Geospatial information for building peace" and include conferences, workshops, poster sessions, panels and trade shows, all focusing on technological innovations related to Geomatics technologies. The event will include the observation of the International Year of Soils and the Forum of Colombian Spatial... read more

Publishing Date: 14/05/2015
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Hurricane Mitch approaching Honduras in 1998 (Image: NASA)

Honduran and Colombian authorities participated in an exchange of knowledge to reduce disaster risk. Representatives from national and municipal authorities from both countries did a study visit in Colombia, preparatory sessions and workshops to share their experience. 

As Honduras is one of the countries that is most affected by climate change and disasters triggered by natural hazards the Honduran government wants to adopt a more proactive disaster risk management (DRM) approach, and therefore increase their knowlegde and capacity on how to incorporate risk reduction and... read more

Publishing Date: 08/04/2015
The 2014 international SELPER Symposium took place in Medellín, Colombia

In order to transfer knowledge between institutions engaged in research, development and application of remote sensing and spatial information systems, the Codazzi-IGAC and Geographic Research Centre Application Professional (CIAF) gave a workshop on the use of remote sensing images in the case of floods and landslides on 3 October 2014. The workshop took place during the XVI International Symposium SELPER 2014. SELPER is the "Society of Latin American Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems Specialist".

The experts of CIAF trained participants in the use of remote sensing in the detection and analysis of floods and mass movements. The exercise was based on a case study from a... read more

Publishing Date: 29/10/2014
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Classification of a Forest Fire in Salamanca Island Road Park, Colombia, based on a 8 LDCM Landsat image

The Research and Development in Geographic Information Centre (CIAF) of IGAC, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, is working on the development of tools for disaster management and disaster relief.

One of its products is an application called SEMARK (Forest Fire Severity Markov Classification), which is the result of research conducted within the framework of a PhD thesis on the use of remote sensing techniques in forest fires.

SEMARK creates classifications of spectral indices derived from satellite imagery (NBR, NDVI, and SAVI) classifiers using Markov random fields (MRF). Based on the results, SEMARK can be used as an initial tool in the identification... read more

Publishing Date: 17/09/2014
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Time series of NDVI average 2001-2004 of clean pasture areas

Continuing progress in studies and advancing in the area of drought monitoring in agricultural areas, the Remote Sensing Group of the Center for Research and Development in Geographic Information of IGAC (CIAF) in Colombia, has been analyzing time series of the Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index (NDVI) based on MODIS data obtained by NASA's Terra satellite.

Specifically, the researchers used MOD13Q images to obtain historical data on the severity and duration of drought in different regions of the country.

To automatically determine the... read more

Publishing Date: 28/08/2014
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Structure model developed for Landsat TM

CIAF, the “Research and Investigation Centre Remote Sensing Group and Geographic Applications” of UN-SPIDER's Colombia Regional Support Office IGAC, has developed a model to correct and process satellite images for automatic extraction of flood areas using image processing algorithms, called "CAIN" (Atmospheric Correction and Indexes of flooding). This project is being implemented within the framework of the technical assistance to the Colombian Corporation of Agricultural Research (CORPOICA, 2014).

The processing platform CAIN was developed under the PCI Geomatica Software 2013. This initiative is... read more

Publishing Date: 30/07/2014
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Estimation of the Normalized Differences Vegetation Index of a rice field

The Colombian Research and Development Centre for Geographic Information (CIAF), which is part of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, IGAC, is performing technical studies on airborne data collection using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The goal of the project is to obtain spectral vegetation indices, used to generate basic and thematic mapping at large scales in order to develop projects in precision agriculture and monitoring of crop fields.

Using data and information derived from UAVs could reduce costs, improve crop profitability and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activity, since the application of agrochemicals can be adjusted to actual crop requirements.

The project is jointly conducted with CORPOICA (Colombian Corporation of... read more

Publishing Date: 30/06/2014
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Birds eye view of London acquired by the UK-DMC-2 satellite in November 2011

The Research and Investigation Centre of Remote Sensing and Geographic Applications (CIAF) of UN-SPIDER's Colombian Regional Support Office IGAC, met with the UK-based private company Surrey Satellite Technology on 30 May 2014, to discuss technical issues related to Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) and different applications that can be developed in the field of risk management and territorial organization. The meeting was organized jointly with the British Embassy in Colombia.

Surrey conceived the innovative and unique DMC, the first... read more

Publishing Date: 03/06/2014
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UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), announced that the first forum for the Colombian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ICDE) called "Trends in Geospatial Information Management" will be held on 29 and 30 May 2014, in the city of Bogotá on the premises of AR Hotel Salitre. IGAC is organizing the event in its role as the coordinator of ICDE, which is a group of the Colombian Space Commission (CEC) to develop a Spatial Data Infrastructure.

This event is aimed at managers, coordinators, technologists and professionals from different disciplines that are involved in management activities on geospatial information as a planning tool in the territories of Colombia.

The first forum of the ICDE responds to the growing need for more and... read more

Publishing Date: 28/05/2014
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The Research and Investigation Centre of Remote Sensing and Geographic Applications (CIAF), which is part of UN-SPIDER's Colombian Regional Support Office IGAC, together with the support of the brand company Telespazio Geos (Telespazio) developed a training course on the interpretation of SAR images for application monitoring systems as a strategy to drive the research process and to update the knowledge database of active sensors. The course will take place between 10 and 13 June 2014.

The aim of the course will be to train participants in the processing of SAR images, particularly those from Cosmo SkyMed constellation of satellites, as a general basis for the use of SAR radar technology and its various applications.

The training course will cover aspects such as:

Publishing Date: 27/05/2014
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The Master's programme in Remote Sensing of the Catholic University of Manizales of Colombia and UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, IGAC, will organize their first international seminar on remote sensing from 8 to 10 May 2014 on the premises of the Catholic University of Manizales.

The seminar is embedded in a strategy to streamline and promote this research area and further develop technologies to process and analyze remotely sensed data.

The seminar focuses on topics such as the application of remote sensing in risk management, specifically in the... read more

Publishing Date: 25/04/2014
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Internal Working Group of Remote Sensing and Spectroscopy of CIAF-IGAC (2013/201

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC), through their Research and Investigation Centre (CIAF), has been working on a spectral library project. It includes research on spectrometry applied to the analysis of land cover (water bodies, soil and minerals, vegetation and island areas), in order to build spectral libraries for each type of land cover. The project will result in a large database of spectral signatures, which can be used in digital processing of remote sensing images.

By characterizing the spectral... read more

Publishing Date: 26/03/2014
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4th Meeting of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices on 11 February 2013

UN-SPIDER's network of Regional Support Offices is currently developing Recommended Practices on the use of space-based information for disaster risk management and emergency response. The practices deal with a variety of topics such as droughts, floods, agricultural monitoring or land degradation and include detailed information... read more

Publishing Date: 03/02/2014
MODIS image caught by NASA's Terra satellite shows floods in Colombia

The UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in Colombia, Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi (IGAC), has enhanced its capacities to create accurate maps and baselines by acquiring a GeoImaging Accelerator (GXL) Satellite and Aerial processing system from the remote sensing software provider PCI Geomatics.

“The speed, accuracy, and multi-sensor support of the system were determining factors in selecting PCI’s GXL for our projects,” said Jaime Duarte, Assistant Director of Cartography and Mapping... read more

Publishing Date: 30/01/2014
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Remote sensing course and spatial analysis

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, IGAC, has published a guide in Spanish for the use and processing of LDCM-Landsat 8 products. It was elaborated by IGAC's Centre Remote Sensing Group and Geographic Applications (CIAF), which is an unbiased, multi-disciplinary science organization that focuses on biology, geography, geology, geospatial information, and water, dedicated to the timely, relevant, and impartial study of the landscape, our natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten Colombia.

NASA's Landsat programme represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land... read more

Publishing Date: 04/11/2013
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The 2013 Geomatic Week took place from 30 September to 4 October in Bogota

The Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), host to UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, successfully ended the fourth version of the International Geomatics Week. The 2013 event focused on "geospatial technologies and management of the territory". The event took place from 30 September to 4 October in Bogota, Colombia. It was attended by 103 senior professionals in different fields related to Geomatics, including: Seventy-five national experts and eighteen international experts as Germany, Austria, Cuba, Spain, United States, Holland, India, Iraq, Poland and Puerto Rico.

There were thirty workshops, eighty-eight conferences, exhibition posters, two panel discussions, and other scientific technical activities that allowed the participation of one thousand professionals approximately, about different fields of application in geospatial technologies such as risk management, land planning,... read more

Publishing Date: 01/11/2013
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LCCS on a map of Bogota, Colombia

The internal network of the... read more

Publishing Date: 24/07/2013
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