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DigitalGlobe's Campaign For Hurricane Maria

by Amit Benet Nag

By now, Puerto Rico is the worst affected area from Hurricane Maria, the number of deaths related to this category 4 Hurricane may exceed from what the government has officially accounted for so far. According to the Vox Media, the current death toll of Hurricane Maria hasn’t been updated from the last figure as Puerto Rican government officials are busy with trashed Puerto Rico, demolishing its already weak power, communications, and transportation infrastructure.


                                                Image of Hurricane maria in Puerto Rico © 2017 Time Inc.

Recently, President Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico, where according to Chicago Tribune; Trump praised the Puerto Rico’s low storm death toll which afterward increased from 16 to 34. With the crisis at hand and help is arriving slowly, DigitalGlobe is playing its part through its Open Data Program providing pre and post-event imagery of the affected areas to support disaster response. In addition, it also plans to support Maria response through; supporting partners on the ground, the United Nations to ensure our open data is used to aid in relief efforts. And crowdsourcing, which is a platform for a crowd (masses/people), to voluntary help in achieving a common goal of sourcing (innovation, problem-solving, or efficiency) for support in disaster response and relief. Given below are some of the sample the satellite imagery used during the relief crowdsourcing for Hurricane Maria in the tomnod campaign of DigitalGlobe.

                                             Images from DigitalGlobe’s  Tomnod campaign © 2017 Tomnod

In the Tomnod’s campaign, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) tasks have been set up for Maria using DigitalGlobe pre and post-event satellite imagery with DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod crowdsourcing teams are running a campaign to help with damage assessments in satellite images.

As for the relief operations are considered, a news article by CNBC says that help for victims is coming in form of money and urging people for cash donations due to handling a deluge of material goods, with challenges like storage and sorting is next to impossible.  According to the Foundation Center, $295.3 million has been collected for Harvey relief, with $98.3 million for Irma and $21.9 million for Maria. Also, Global Giving (a crowdfunding site) helping to raise $5 million for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, so far it has $2.7 million from 22,803 people and more coming in daily.

SATPALDA is a privately owned company and a leading provider of satellite imagery and GeoSpatial services to the user community. Established in 2002, SATPALDA has successfully completed wide range of photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Projects.

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