The NASA EO-1 team has been very busy integrating some new technology as part of an ESTO grant. Our mission: Deliver quickly, relevant information to local end-users during disasters. Unfortunately, we have had several national and international disasters to support recently. Floods and landslides in Kenya have recently affected more than 300,000 people (14 Nov 2008 OCHA Situation Report).
NASA is already engaged in Africa with the new SERVIR program in partnership with USAID (Press Release 08-307 and article from Nicholos Wethington in Universe Today) and the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development in Nairobi.
This last week was the first time we were able to turn around imagery in less than 24 hours of a declared emergency and automatically provide an imagery data feed directly to local users in the field.
With the help of Dr. Brakenridge at the Dartmouth Observatory, we were able to correlate the data with MODIS information.
Many products were automticaly generated using a workflow based on Open Source Software (OpenWFEru), assembled as a feed and published. Access to the data was immediate through a feed reader such as Google Reader or Firefox using the Sage addon. These level 2 products are available as KMZ files for visualization using Google Earth.
Part of our current research is to publish the workflows themselves to allow end-users to reprocess the data on-demand as they deem necessary, right from the same feed reader. For example, pan-sharpened products (10m resolution instead of 30m) could be generated on the fly and made available in a similar manner. They would require more time to download as they can be quite large (250MB or so).
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