Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Miyamoto International.
Today’s Top Story is Nepal and the massive earthquake that devastated the area on April 25th. Many details about the 7.8-magnitude quake are still being revealed, but at least 5,000 people have died, and the physical destruction has ranged from fallen city centers in Khatmandu to devastated rural regions to destroyed temples to lost Mount Everest climbers. The scope is enormous, and I’m dedicating this entire episode to related information.
Many governments, companies and relief organizations jumped into action in the immediate aftermath, and the response has been impressive in speed and scope. For example, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency quickly introduced maps for Nepal Earthquake Support, including open-source data, damage assessments and terrain, and its latest imagery.
There are more stories to come, but I’ll close out this Top Story with some news clips and drone footage from the disaster.
That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this brief message from Miyamoto International, which helped Haiti rebuild and recover from its own earthquake disaster.
I don’t normally tell viewers to go somewhere else for their geospatial news, but you have to check out this article in Wired UK written by Liat Clark.
It details how members of the remote-sensing and mapping community, with thousands of digital volunteers added to those on the ground, helped map the disaster area in just 48 hours. It starts with activities launched in the first hour, such as DigitalGlobe instructing its WorldView-3 satellite to image the area, and describes how relief organizations work with data providers to tag and prioritize areas for help. It’s a great article that really shows the power of our technology and those who wield it.
In industry headlines, Esri released a Nepal Earthquake Maps gallery, which can be used freely by the media or those interested in geographical information of the damaged areas. The gallery includes maps aggregated from government data as well as those showing Twitter and Youtube posts, information on relief operations, and a beautiful visualization of Mount Everest and areas affected by a massive earthquake-related avalanche.
Another contributor to the gallery is Airbus Defence and Space, which provided updated imagery for this Swipe Map that helps viewers see the before and after images of key areas and landmarks that were damaged or destroyed, including the Dharahara Tower, a 200-foot structure built in 1832. About 180 bodies were found in the rubble.
And now for today’s Final Thought. It’s amazing to see how much personal technology, particularly smartphones, has changed how disasters such as this are reported. Instead of relying on news organizations to relay the aftermath, there are countless personal videos and photos on the Internet, showing the earthquake as it’s happening. I’m currently playing the most powerful clip I found. Jost Kobusch was at the Everest base camp when the avalanche hit and recorded this amazing footage of the snow wall.
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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.