News

  • Typhoon Vamco on November 11, a few hours before making landfall on the Philippines. Image: NASA.
    UNOOSA and UNDRR conduct conference on space-based technologies for disaster risk reduction Thu Nov 26 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its United Nation Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), organized the United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction - "Lessons learned during the unprecedented pandemic situation" on 24-25 November 2020. The Conference was...
  • Screenshot of the SMAP tool in action. Image: NASA
    NASA integrates soil moisture data into Disasters Mapping Portal Wed Nov 25 2020
    Officially launched in 2015 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the SMAP mission is an orbiting satellite that measures the amount of wetness in the top layer of soil incrementally every 2-3 days. These Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) measurements rely on radiation frequencies that point to different levels of moisture on the surface of  earth’s soil and are useful...
  • GloFAS forecast for parts of Central America on 3 November.
    Global web-based systems support flood early warning Fri Nov 20 2020
    When disaster looms, early warning about potentially affected areas and the extent of the event are critical for disaster management efforts. Using in situ and satellite-based observations, two web-based systems provide critical information to support flood early warning efforts worldwide, for instance in the context of the current record-setting Atlantic hurricane season, which has brought...
  • Cover of the IFRC World Disasters Report 2020. Image: Indian Red Cross Society.
    World Disasters Report 2020 highlights role of smart financing and space-based information in humanitarian response Thu Nov 19 2020
    A new report by the world’s largest humanitarian aid network highlights global disasters, populations most vulnerable to them and the efforts of local institutions in preventing, preparing for and responding to them. The 2020 edition of the World Disasters Report, “Come Heat or High Water”, was launched virtually from the offices of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent...
  • The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) captured this image of Eta around on November 3. Image: NASA Earth Observatory.
    UN-SPIDER supports disaster response efforts to Hurricane Eta in Central America Mon Nov 16 2020
    The hurricane season in Central America normally quiets down at the end of October, but this year is one of those rare years when tropical storms and hurricanes in the region have occured beyond the typical season. With 30 events thus far, the 2020 tropical storm season in the Caribbean continues to take its toll in developing countries in Central America. Hurricane Eta entered the west coast of...
  • GMES and Africa logo.
    GMES & Africa launches online learning platform Wed Nov 11 2020
    The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa programme, a joint initiative by the European Commission and the African Union Commission, has launched an online training platform to strengthen capacities in the use of Earth observation data and services for information decision-making. The new system follows the publication of the "GMES and Africa Training Strategy" in 2019...
  • Screenshot of the Living Textbook tool.
    EO4GEO project releases Body of Knowledge for Earth observation and geographic information Sun Oct 25 2020
    The EO4GEO project, an alliance of 26 partners from 13 European Union countries, has publicly released a Body of Knowledge (BoK) for the Earth Observation (EO) and Geographic Information (GI) domain. The BoK is a formal description of the EO/GI sector represented by a complete set of interrelated concepts. It consists of 907 concepts, 1129 relationships between them, and 1875 skills to which the...
  • UN-SPIDER online training strengthens flood mapping capacity in Nigeria Sat Oct 24 2020
    UN-SPIDER and its Regional Support Office in Nigeria, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), conducted an online training on the UN-SPIDER Recommended Practice on Flood Mapping and Damage Assessment Using Sentinel-1 SAR Data in Google Earth Engine. Staff from NASRDA as well as from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of Nigeria participated in the training, which...
  • International Charter Space and Major Disasters marks 20th anniversary Wed Oct 21 2020
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters, a worldwide collaboration among space agencies through which satellite-derived information and products are made available to support disaster response efforts, is marking its 20th anniversary this year. Since starting operations on 1 November 2000, the Charter has been activated 680 times (as of 19 October 2020) to support disasters in 126...
  • UNOOSA and Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific launch online course on Geospatial Applications for Disaster Risk Management Tue Oct 13 2020
    Marking International Day for Disaster Reduction today, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) affiliated to the United Nations have launched a new online learning course on how to use space applications for disaster management. The training is through a Massive Open Online Course (...
  • UNOOSA and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev agree to establish UN-SPIDER RSO in Israel Mon Oct 12 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a Regional Support Office (RSO) of UNOOSA's programme 'United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER)'. UN-SPIDER RSOs are regional or national centres of expertise that...
  • On 20 May 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel Mission captured this image of Cyclone Amphan making landfall over Bangladesh. Image: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
    Registrations open for virtual United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction Fri Oct 2 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is pleased to announce the “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – ‘Lessons learned during the unprecedented pandemic situation”, to be held online from 24-25 November 2020. This conference is organised by the Beijing office of the United Nations Platform for Space-based...
  • WSF2015 subset including India and vast part of Eastern and South Eastern Asia.  Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
    New free map product shows settlement structure with 10m resolution Wed Sep 30 2020
    A new world map developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) reveals settlement structures on Earth in 2015 with a resolution of 10 metres. The World Settlement Footprint 2015 (WSF2015), which is publicly and freely available, combines optical and radar satellite imagery acquired by the Landsat-8 and Sentinel 1 missions in 2014 and 2015 to outline the extent of settlements at a high accuracy....
  • Participants at the virtual expert meeting. Image: UNOOSA.
    UN-SPIDER conducts virtual expert meeting for Latin America Mon Sep 28 2020
    In order to discuss and promote the use of space technologies in addressing natural hazards such as forest fires and landslides in Latin America, UN-SPIDER conducted a virtual regional expert meeting on the topic of “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Latin America” from 22 to 24 September 2020. The meeting was jointly organized with UN-SPIDER Regional...
  • IWMI staff receiving the GeoSpatial World Excellence Award 2020. Image: IWMI.
    IWMI wins award for innovative space-based drought monitoring work Sun Sep 27 2020
    The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, has won an award for its innovative work using remote sensing technology to help nations monitor and mitigate the impacts of drought. The Institute received the GeoSpatial World Excellence Award 2020 in recognition of the positive impact of its South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS). Since IWMI...
  • Screenshot of the Earth Map platform.
    Google and FAO develop web-based tool to facilitate big data access Fri Sep 18 2020
    Google and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have launched a new tool that provides access to multidimensional maps and statistics showing key climate and environmental trends. Earth Map draws on the processing power of Google Earth Engine and aims to help develop insights based on satellite and FAO’s agriculturally-relevant data alike. It follows the joint...
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the SAOCOM 1B satellite. Image: Manuel Mazzanti/CONAE
    CONAE successfully launches SAOCOM 1B satellite Mon Sep 14 2020
    The Argentinean SAOCOM 1B satellite was successfully launched into orbit on 30 August 2020. Developed by the National Argentinean Space Commission (CONAE), this new satellite will join SAOCOM 1A and four Italian COSMO-SkyMed to complete the joint Italian-Argentinean Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE). Like its predecessor, SAOCOM 1B was built in Argentina through a joint effort...
  • Screenshot of the FAO Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform.
    New FAO geospatial data platform to strengthen food and agriculture sectors Wed Sep 9 2020
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a geospatial data platform that aims to help build stronger food and agriculture sectors post COVID-19. The Hand-in-Hand system provides access to a wide range of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics and natural resources. The platform features over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series...
  • Tropical cyclone Fani over the eastern coast of India on 2 May 2019. Image: NASA.
    CRED publishes 2019 disaster statistics Thu Aug 20 2020
    According to the latest issue of an annual disaster statistics report, floods were the deadliest type of disasters in 2019, followed by extreme temperature, while storms affected the highest number of people. Published by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), “Natural disasters 2019 - Now is the time to not give up” draws on data recorded in the Emergency Events...
  • Floods in Bangladesh in 2019. Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific.
    ICIMOD supports disaster management with streamflow prediction and flood mapping Wed Aug 19 2020
    The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is leveraging space-based information to support government and humanitarian agencies in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with timely information for flood early warning and inundation mapping. The efforts, which consist of developing a streamflow prediction system for flood early warning and of providing near real-time...
  • Report cover.
    Aerospace Information Research Institute of China tracks locust swarm dynamics and losses Thu Aug 13 2020
    At the end of 2019, countries in the Horn of Africa began to suffer the impacts of locust swarms. Later, the locust migrated to regions in Southwest Asia. Unfortunately, the impacts on farmers are devastating. Furthermore, the combined impact of these locust plague and COVID-19 is having a toll of the livelihoods of many farmers in these regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the...

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