DLR supports establishment of the 'International Working Group on Satellite Based Emergency Mapping (IWG-SEM)'
Over the last decade, the use of earth observation satellites to support disaster and emergency relief has significantly increased. While a few years ago only a few expert centres were involved in satellite based emergency mapping, today, many players, from government, academia, industry, NGO, internet communities and even online newspaper portals make use of satellite imagery to depict, map and assess large scale disaster situations.
To discuss topics regarding this matter, DLR organized a workshop with 24 international experts in Hohenkammer near Munich in September 2011. During the working sessions of the meeting, first recommendations as well as issues/challenges to be worked upon in the future were identified. During the follow-up meeting hosted by JRC in Ispra in April 2012, the International Working Group on Satellite Based Emergency Mapping (IWG-SEM) was formally established, with the following mission statement:
'Establish best practices between operational satellite-based emergency mapping programs to stimulate communication and collaboration to include definition of map product generation guidelines, coordination of expertise and capacities, building of training curriculum, participation in common exercises, and reviewing relevant technical standards and protocols and to work with the appropriate organizations to define professional standards for emergency mapping.'
The working group is supposed to meet on a regular basis to discuss organizational and strategic developments as well as technical issues concerning improved cooperation in satellite-based emergency mapping.