Coordinated access to space more important than ever

05 December 2012

In May 2012, two earthquakes struck Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, claiming at least 27 lives and causing widespread damage. Through GMES, damage assessment maps derived from satellite data were promptly produced to assist emergency response activities.

The maps were created by integrating pre- and post-earthquake satellite data to show changes that indicated potentially hazardous areas or damaged buildings.

Within hours of the tremors, the maps were uploaded to the Italian Civil Protection web platform and made accessible to everyone involved in the emergency management effort.

Coordinated by the European Commission, the aim of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme is to provide an increasingly broad user community with accurate, timely and easily accessible information collected from Earth-observing satellites and in-situ sensors.

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