Last year, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck just miles from Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. More recently, massive earthquakes have also struck Christchurch, New Zealand and Japan’s east coast, shocking and devastating local residents and providing a striking reminder of how quickly the earth can change. In the days following each of these disasters, humanitarian aid and military organizations from around the world rushed to search for survivors, provide medical care, help restore order to the devastated cities, and plan for long-term recovery.
To aid in the relief efforts, data providers worldwide collected high-quality aerial multi-spectral imagery and LiDAR information over the affected areas. Partners like ERDAS rapidly served this imagery, making it available to disaster relief workers and first responders worldwide. When the earth changes, the ability to understand these changes and rapidly share this information is critical, as was seen in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan, as well as other recent natural disasters that have relied on geospatial technologies to help save lives.