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    UNIS/OS/465
    21 April 2016

    DigitalGlobe releases satellite imagery for Ecuador earthquake under the framework memorandum with UNOOSA

    VIENNA, 21 April (UN Information Service) - In response to the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Ecuador on 16 April, the satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe is offering open imagery and data to support the emergency relief efforts under an agreement with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Under its Open Data Programme, DigitalGlobe has made pre-earthquake and post-earthquake imagery available and is currently conducting a crowdsourcing campaign at Tomnod.com to identify damaged buildings, impassable roads, and other areas of major destruction in the earthquake-affected areas.

    Space-based technologies can contribute to all phases of the disaster management cycle, including prevention, preparedness, early warning, response and reconstruction. Satellites are reliable and rapid communication, observation and positioning tools, which become particularly vital to relief and recovery operations when ground-based infrastructure is damaged. DigitalGlobe is continuing to collect post-event imagery over affected areas in Ecuador to support efforts on the ground.

    UNOOSA and DigitalGlobe signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 26 February 2015 to make use of their combined expertise in the use of Earth observation technologies for economic, social, and scientific development and improved decision-making, particularly in developing countries. The support for Ecuador is one concrete outcome of this collaboration, which aims at making high quality and timely information available to all relevant actors in disaster management.

    "This initiative underlines the trusted partnership between UNOOSA and DigitalGlobe in the area of geospatial information and analytics as the rapid availability of data is essential for a successful response to such a devastating event like the earthquake in Ecuador," said Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

    "In a crisis like this, time is against you, and immediate access to real-time information is critical. DigitalGlobe has been able to effectively relay much needed information to the Ecuadorian government and teams on the ground by working closely with partners like UNOOSA. It is truly a collaborative undertaking where faster, better information can help save lives," said Rhiannan Price, Senior Manager of DigitalGlobe's Seeing a better world™ Programme.

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    To learn more about the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, visit www.unoosa.org and its United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response www.un-spider.org

    To learn more about DigitalGlobe's Seeing a Better World™ Programme, visit  www.seeingabetterworld.com

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    For further information, please contact:

    Markus Woltran 
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5768 
    Email: markus.woltran[at]unoosa.org