News

Satellite flood maps reach crisis teams via Internet

27 September 2013

Building on its use of satellites for responding to disasters, ESA has helped to create a service that makes flood maps available simply via the Internet.

Floods can be devastating, as seen recently in Germany and central Europe. Knowing the extent of a flood and understanding how it might develop is essential for teams responding to the emergency.

Traditionally, this is often worked out using ground and airborne sensors along with historical flood maps. Invariably, these different sources of information, often from incompatible systems, must be pieced together in a hurry by emergency teams.

But they cannot provide the full picture, especially when it comes to extensive floods and bad weather.

ESA has collaborated with Capgemini, GeoVille Information Systems, Vienna University of Technology and Luxembourg's Gabriel Lippmann research centre to develop a simple, easy-to-use system that could be available to anyone online.

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