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Einar Bjørgo. (2004). Satellite imagery and GIS for disaster response & management in the United Nations: The UNOSAT approach. In B. C. B. Van de Walle (Ed.), Proceedings of ISCRAM 2004 – 1st International Workshop on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 105–110). Brussels: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium.
Abstract: Remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have the potential to provide United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies and their partners with much needed disaster related information and improved management of resources. However, the technical nature of these tools requires considerable expertise to fully benefit from satellite images and related geographic information. The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is implementing the UNOSAT service on behalf of the UN Institute on Training and Research (UNITAR) together with several private actors. UNOSAT provides the UN and its partners with the expertise in Earth Observation (EO) and GIS applications. As a crisis is part of a spectrum of disaster related events, UNOSAT provides services in all phases of humanitarian assistance, including planning, crisis response, relief and development. UNOSAT's objectives are to facilitate the territory planning and monitoring processes of local authorities, local technicians, development project managers and humanitarian field operators working in coordination with or within the framework of UN activities, on issues such as disaster management, risk prevention, peace keeping operations, post conflict reconstruction, environmental rehabilitation and social and economic development. A key part of this work is to accelerate and expand the use of accurate geographic information derived from EO-satellite imagery. UNOSAT is also involved in several international initiatives aimed at improved crisis response and management, such as the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”, an important asset in providing timely information to relief personnel on the ground. By working closely with its UN sister agencies, UNOPS/UNOSAT offers a one-stop-shop for satellite imagery and GIS services related to disaster response & management within the United Nations. Â© Proceedings ISCRAM 2004.