Humanitarian assistance made more efficient using EO data

Session

Flygtninge og GIS

Abstract

Complex emergencies arising from armed conflicts, protracted crises, and natural disasters cause unprecedented population displacements, with an estimated number exceeding 65 million in 2015 (UNHCR).

The collection of ground data to achieve an accurate picture of these emergencies is usually limited both time- and access-wise. An Earth observation (EO-)based information service, called EO4HumEn (www.zgis.at/humanitarian-services) provides dedicated geo-spatial information products in support to humanitarian operations.

The talk will give insights to the challenges faced by actors involved to run the service ‘operationally’ in the humanitarian domain. This applies to data acquisition, data integration, interoperability and data exchange routines. Mutual trust, flexibility and an adaptive architecture are also key elements for such a service to sustain.

Målgruppe

Participants of the conference interested in how GI can be applied in order to get an overview of complex emergencies like the refugee situation.

Yderligere uddybning af abstract

This presentation is about humanitarian assistance made more efficient using EO data and geodata repositories in a collaborative mapping environment.

Complex emergencies arising from armed conflicts, protracted crises, and natural disasters cause unprecedented population displacements, with an estimated number exceeding 65 million in 2015 (UNHCR).

Efficient humanitarian assistance delivered to refugees or IDPs (internally displaced persons) require up-to date reliable information about the situation on-site and the local/regional context. This applies to mission planning in the immediate emergency phase as well as safeguarding care and maintenance on the longer run, thereby not only concerning the ever changing population figures but also the supply of natural resources including groundwater reservoirs.

The collection of ground data to achieve an accurate picture is usually limited both time- and access-wise. An Earth observation (EO-)based information service, called EO4HumEn (www.zgis.at/humanitarian-services) provides dedicated geo-spatial information products in support to humanitarian operations.

The developed products are delivered as tailor-made maps, online web services and advanced cartographic visualisations, utilized and validated by teams on the ground. An OGC conform, open-source collaborative mapping platform supports a dynamic mapping and data sharing environment.

The information service was set up and collaboratively designed with Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), an independent and international humanitarian organisation operating around the world. Currently, the service portfolio is extended to other global humanitarian actors like the Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages, and Groundwater Relief.

The talk will give insights to the challenges faced by actors involved to run the service ‘operationally’ in the humanitarian domain. This applies to data acquisition, data integration, interoperability and data exchange routines, but – next to technical prerequisites – mutual trust, flexibility and an adaptive architecture are the key elements for such a service to sustain.

Coauthors of the abstract are:
Lorenz Wendta, Edith Rogenhoferb, and Barbara Riedlera
a Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
bMédicins Sans Frontières, Section Austria, Vienna, Austria

Humanitarian assistance made more efficient using EO data
Stefan Lang
University of Salzburg, Austria