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Home arrow Articles arrow Webmaps and Web Services arrow AlertNet - delivering news, maps, and imagery about recent emergencies and humanitarian efforts     

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AlertNet - delivering news, maps, and imagery about recent emergencies and humanitarian efforts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham   
25 February 2005
Reuters has spatially enabled a humanitarian news website. Using geocoded news feeds, visitors can access information about recent disasters and humanitarian efforts.. complemented of course by interactive maps and imagery. The web mapping service is powered by ESRI while data providers include Europa Technologies and the European Space Agency.

According to a recent press announcement, ESRI (UK) LTD. Business Partner and systems integrator ESYS (sponsored by the European Space Agency) built the Web site using ESRI's ArcIMS technology. Apparently ESRI's GIS technology was selected after a review process was carried out by ESYS and University College London's Department of Geomatic Engineering.

Users can pan, zoom in and out, rotate the digital map, and select data layers such as political boundaries, infrastructures, and geographic attributes. For the site's spatial data, Reuters selected the Global Insight data product from Europa Technologies providing up-to-date 1:1,000,000 scale digital mapping for the entire world. The product provides up-to-date political entities, coastlines, international borders, some first level administrative borders, time zones, and more than 650,000 named places with urban sprawls. Satellite imagery for the service is provided by the European Space Agency

A quick tour of http://www.alertnet.org

The homepage (above) displays the latest news and information about disasters and humanitarian relief projects. Example... a recent feature titled "Iran quake toll 602, almost all bodies recovered" takes us to the PR announcemnt and a link is provided to show a map of the affected region. This makes a call to the map service (see below).

The map of Iran is displayed and users can optionally toggle on/off a number of layers, zoom in/out, pan, or query.

A handy pull-down menu enables users to select from a long list of recent disasters and quickly produce a map of the affected area.

A map of the recent Indian Ocean Tsunami is displayed

Each article is complemented with related photos, maps, and imagery and numerous images and image archives are provided. Satellite imagery is archived and available from http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/satelliteimages/index.htm. Images are provided by the European Space Agency http://www.esa.int/. The image displayed below shows the affected areas in Thailand.

More About AlertNet

AlertNet attracts nearly four million users a year, has a network of more than 300 contributing humanitarian organizations, and its weekly e-mail digest is received by more than 13,000 readers. Please note, only non-profit organisations working in emergency relief may join AlertNet as full members and access all areas.

The site's focus is to deliver information to humanitarian workers and organizations, however, its also a very valuable educational resource. Industry professionals, media, and students will find this to be a very interesting source of information and the addition of interactive maps and imagery complements the resource nicely.


Last Updated ( 25 February 2005 )
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