DigitalGlobe’s response to the Typhoon Haiyan crisis leveraged the company’s entire spectrum of geospatial capabilities and platforms – more so than for any other natural disaster to date. Supported by DigitalGlobe’s U.S. Government customer, these products are temporarily licensed for unrestricted use for emergency response and humanitarian activities based on the extent of the damage and scale of the global response. The company continues to publish data and geospatial insight of the areas affected by the typhoon across an expanded list of web sites leveraging the DigitalGlobe Cloud Services Platform.
By making the data available across various DigitalGlobe cloud-based services, we armed scores of different crisis response communities with accurate and up-to-date satellite imagery in a format they could immediately consume and from which informed decisions could quickly be made. DigitalGlobe’s decision to expand the availability of high-resolution satellite data and products to various disaster recovery communities allowed first responders to make faster, better decisions. In fact, in the first three days after Typhoon Haiyan hit, DigitalGlobe processed 195,000 requests for satellite images of the Philippines.
Preparation for the event started days before Haiyan’s landfall. As the hurricane approached, DigitalGlobe provisioned “before” images, of the area most likely to be hit, and published them in FirstLook, our crisis response subscription service. Next, we overlaid our human geography data sets http://www.digitalglobe.com/showcase-africa#human-geography-information-surveys for the region with the predicted path of the typhoon to help anticipate the critical infrastructure (including hospitals, airports, bridges, roads, power plants) most vulnerable to the storm. We used the resulting geospatial insight to create tasking plans for our entire satellite constellation that prioritized image collection of areas where damage was anticipated. Our satellites executed the plans, and we immediately uploaded imagery to our Cloud Services platform to support our FirstLook subscribers and inform the public on the scale of the disaster.
In the aftermath of the storm, we immediately activated a global crowdsourcing campaign, asking the public to identify information within the collected imagery that would immediately be helpful to first responders on the ground. Within about 24 hours, DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod platform collected 62,292 tags, 101,640 views, identified 7,598 damaged large buildings, 8,206 pieces of debris, 18,161 damaged residences, and 19,388 instances of major destruction. DigitalGlobe made the results of the crowd campaign available to the public and to our FirstLook subscribers within hours.
Crowdsourcing.org@Crowdsourcing – DigitalGlobe Turns to the Crowd to Analyze Post-Typhoon Images #crowdsourcing #crowdsource http://crowdsourcing.org/l/24448
Michael Davidson@MichaelXBD – Satellite image maker @DigitalGlobe is combining its pics with crowd’s knowledge to aid Typhoon Haiyan relief work http://www.xconomy.com/boulder-denver/2013/11/15/digitalglobe-turns-crowd-analyze-post-typhoon-images/ …
Viejo Chuckles@ViejoChuckles – “El antes y después de Tacloban, Filipinas, la zona más afectada por el tifón Haiyan. Foto: Google/DigitalGlobe/AP pic.twitter.com/qCcNsaFWWt”
SSSI SA@SSSI_SA13 – “@DigitalGlobe is responding to Philippine tragedy with crowd sourcing which the Australian community can assist ~ http://www.tomnod.com/nod/challenge/haiyantyphoon2013 …”
DigitalGlobe’s cloud based platform services are flexible and responsive to the challenging environment faced by emergency responders and humanitarian missions. By bringing together the full breadth of geospatial capabilities across our platform, we strive to make our geospatial information and insight products available to as many users as possible, to do the most good.
In support of Operation Damayan, the U.S. Government requested that DigitalGlobe imagery be temporarily released and licensed to the public for humanitarian purposes. In response to this request, we established special accounts on an expanded cloud services platform that enables access to Typhoon Haiyan-related imagery.
For the ArcGIS community, we have elected to provide the DigitalGlobe FirstLook Premium Service content as a Mosaic Image Service. These DG Premium Services (Pre and Post event) will be available to ArcGIS Online users and users of ArcGIS Desktop.
For the open source community, we have provisioned OGC services in a variety of formats.
For the traditional USG and NGO communities, we have published content to the “My DigitalGlobe” application that enables users to quickly and easily view and download imagery.
For the Humanitarian community, NGA provided imagery to the State Department, which then shared it with relief organizations like the Red Cross. Once the imagery was shared by State Department, Red Cross gained access within minutes and shared it with its 400 deployed relief workers. In addition, open-sourced crowdrank output was widely distributed so first responders could identify and support the areas of greatest need.
The Tomnod CrowdRank points were released to the public through the Creative Commons open source license to enable broad distribution.
On Monday, we posted a blog in an effort to help disseminate information about the tragic record-breaking typhoon that hit the Philippines on Friday. Our mission was to get FirstLook pre- and post-event satellite imagery into the hands of the public and media as quickly as possible.
Further, we wanted to raise awareness about our crowdsourcing campaign that asks volunteers to help map the disaster.
Since the disaster struck, we’ve had record response from our Tomnod crowd – Join the ranks of Tomnod users as we plot the damage.
As a follow-up to Monday’s post, our Analytics team has provided annotated imagery with insightful information about the devastation that has taken place (below.)
This area on the west side of Cancabato Bay bore some of the heaviest brunt of Typhoon Haiyan. Debris from the storm surge is seen in the lower left area of the image, as well as debris scattered across the area. Damage to the Bethany Hospital looks extensive, and cars and trucks are attempting to navigate the streets.
Again along the waterfront, extensive damage to structures and shoreline docks.
The downtown waterfront area of Tacloban City was not spared by the storm. The roof of the market was extensively damaged, and the nearby shanty town was nearly wiped away.
More coastal damage around Tacloban City and ships grounded from the storm.
This image shows ships grounded from the storm. An oil storage and transfer dock appears to be intact.
Along the road to the Tacloban City airport, there is extensive damage to structures along the peninsula.
Recently arrived aircraft at Tacloban City airport. Airport facilities were heavily damaged.
Just south of Tacloban City, a coastal road is heavily damaged with flood waters draining lowlands through a washed out culvert.
On Friday, devastation hit the Philippines. The massively destructive typhoon, Haiyan, turned into one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded at landfall, with winds estimated at 195 mph, gusts up to 235 mph and a storm surge that rose up to 20 feet high. As with any natural disaster, rapid, comprehensive, unclassified satellite coverage can be an invaluable tool for responding to these major events.
On November 07, 2013 at 7 pm EST, several hours before Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, DigitalGlobe activated FirstLook, an online subscription service for emergency managers and enterprise customers that provides fast, web-based access to pre- and post-event imagery of natural and manmade disasters. In the first few days, following the initial devastation, DigitalGlobe’s satellites collected and delivered over 19,000 square kilometersof imagery in the hardest hit areas, including Tacloban City and the surrounding areas. FirstLook’s frequent revisit times have enabled rapid delivery of quality imagery content during this time-critical event.
Below is a chilling image chip, depicting the impact from typhoon Haiyan.
This area on the west side of Cancabato Bay bore some of the heaviest brunt. Debris from the storm surge is seen in the lower left area. You can also make out a “Help Us” sign in front of the Redemptorist Church
WE NEED YOUR HELP – JOIN THE CROWD: The scale of the storm’s destruction has been massive. In addition to collecting imagery, we need volunteers to help us map the devastation. In support of such efforts, DigitalGlobe has activated a crowdsourcing campaign, open to anyone willing to help.
For this campaign, we will be releasing the crowd produced results to the open source community. Contact DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod platform team at email@example.com if you are interested in receiving access to the Haiyan data.