Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) recently developed a satellite-based map of human settlements, with a precision currently unparalleled by other global surveys. The maps are based on data of the German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X captured from an altitude of 500 kilometres.
The European Space Agency’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission was orginally designed to deliver information on water cycles. The satellite is now also being used to predict droughts and to monitor crop yield.
Within the framework of its collaboration with the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) - host to one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices - has mapped potential locust reproduction zones in the South of Algeria and the North-East of Mauritania. The experts analyzed the ecological conditions of the migratory locust for the period between 18 January and 3 February 2014.
A team of geographers at University of California have developed a new approach to measure river flows from outer space. This approach relies exclusively on the measurements of a river's width over time, which can be obtained from freely available satellite imagery. "Our new method doesn't require access to the country or getting in the river to safely take measurements in the field," said Colin Gleason, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in geography in UCLA.