Satellites help in the assessment of risk of epidemics

With Vecmap researchers will be able to map high-risk areas

A new method has been developed to assess the risk of potential epidemics with the help of satellites. It has been developed by a consortium led by Avia-GIS in Belgium and supported by ESA.

The Vecmap, as the method is called, is an all-encompassing software and services package, which includes a smartphone app for field studies with a time and location information system, all linked to an online database. It will be used to predict the distribution of species that are essential in assessing the risk of potential epidemics.

Satellite data is used in several ways. On the one hand, satellite observations are used to target areas that could be the most representative testing sites to assess the risk of epidemics, saving time and cost of fieldwork. On the other hand, after the results are collected online, the experts are able to map high-risk areas using a wide range of satellite images.

Several European institutions have already tested Vecmap for producing area-wide risks maps, confirming its viability and operational benefits for users.

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