Earth Observations and Dynamic Mapping: Key Assets for Risk Management
The timelines and the accuracy of information provided and used are recognized as being critical when dealing with emergencies. The traditional ways to display much of the information in maps had many limitations, which are now being overcome with major progress in the way data are collected, organized, accessed, and communicated. This chapter provides an overview of current Earth Observation capacity with some examples in relation to forest fires and floods that serve to illustrate the main characteristics including governance and existing limitations. The chapter also discusses how new developments in the way individuals can contribute georeferenced information may be of considerable value in addressing some of the limitations identified, particularly when time is of the essence, as is the case in emergencies.
Some theses expressed in this chapter are built on the position paper on Next Generation Digital Earth (Craglia et al. 2008) that came from the specialist meeting on Virtual Globes organized in June 2008 by the Vespucci Initiative for the Advancement of Geographic Information Science and the JRC. We are grateful to Michael F. Goodchild, Gilberto Camara, Michael Gould, Werner Kuhn, David Mark, Ian Masser, David Maguire, Steve Liang, and Ed Parsons who contributed to develop that paper and vision.
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