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June 21st, 2012
UNOSAT Delivers GIS Training in Disaster Risk Management to Experts in Asia

The 8th edition of the GIS4DRM course was held from 7 to 18 May 2012 in Bangkok. This particular UNOSAT training lasts three consecutive days and it is structured as hands-on sessions on GIS methodologies to perform satellite based analysis for emergency response mapping, an area in which UNOSAT experts have gathered over 10 years of operational experience in both disasters and complex emergencies.

In 2010 the GIS4DRM course was revamped jointly by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, the Netherlands (ITC), and UNOSAT to respond to new challenges and new emerging technology. In addition UNOSAT and ADPC signed in 2010 a strategic alliance to bring more training on geospatial solutions to the disaster risk reduction and response communities in Asia.

This year’s course attracted 23 participants from 10 different countries, mostly disaster managers working for national governments, UN organizations and NGOs. Some of the participants were also professionals engaged in the field of disaster risk reduction, an area in which UNOSAT has been investing substantial financial and development resources in view of a decisive increase of output in 2012-2013.

Luca Dell’Oro, in charge of this training for UNOSAT, explains: “training participants were trained in workflow methodologies to perform satellite based rapid analysis using GIS to assess impacts and structural damage caused by natural disasters. We use real case scenarios datasets relating to recent major disasters, which increases participants’ comprehension of advantages and limitations in using satellite imagery for emergency response mapping. This also helps sharing best practices and experiences amongst participants as opposed to more theoretical training formulas focusing on space-based technology more than its concrete applications to real cases”.