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EO-based monitoring of displaced population and natural resources for effective humanitarian operations

Stefan Lang, Lorenz Wendt, Edith Rogenhofer and Barbara Riedler

(Submission #432)


Armed conflicts, regional crisis, and natural disasters have recently led to unprecedented population displacements. Such population dynamics may be even reinforced, if not triggered directly, by climate change in upcoming years. Humanitarian relief operations in refugee or IDP camps require up-to date reliable information for both effective mission planning in the emergency phase and safeguarding care and maintenance on the longer run. This not only concerns the ever changing population numbers and densities but also the supply of natural resources including groundwater reservoirs. The collection of ground data is often limited both time- and access-wise. An Earth observation (EO-)based information service, called EO4HumEn ( provides dedicated geo-spatial information products to support humanitarian operations derived from satellite and collated GIS data. The developed products are delivered by tailor-made maps, online web services and reports, qualified and validated in terms of relevance and usability. An OGC conform, open-source collaborative mapping platform enables instant communication between lab and field. Originally designed for Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) the service portfolio is currently extended to other global humanitarian actors such as the Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages, Groundwater Relief, and others. Our talk will give insights into the challenges an operational services in the humanitarian action domain does face, in terms of the acquisition of actual EO data and the technical prerequisites of interoperability and data exchange routines. Notwithstanding the fact that such an information service may only sustain once built on mutual trust and a continuous proof-of-concept.


Topic Area:  [1.1] Climate change
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Earth observation, information extraction, object-based image analysis, humanitarian action, geospatial service

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