CERG Rapid Response Mapping in Disaster Situations




01 May - 03 May 2013

Duration of event:

3 days


Geneva, Switzerland

Programme area:

Satellite Imagery and Analysis



Event focal point email:

Other events details:

Private – by invitation   Face-to-Face    English   open to register/apply

Private events - by invitation only are reserved for a pre-determined group of participants.


When disasters strike, the first thing the international early response community needs is information: What has happened, where did it happen, what is the effect, what response is needed? Not only can satellite imagery taken immediately after an event like an earthquake or tropical cyclone show what has happened through images of destroyed infrastructure or flood surge, but with their inherent geo-coding, one can tell immediately where the event took place and the apparent magnitude and impact of the disaster. This is key information for an efficient planning and coordination of emergency response operations as well as to perform a GIS based preliminary impact and damage assessment.

Event Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide training participants with concepts and GIS methodologies to perform satellite based rapid response analysis including the understanding of the benefits and limitations of using geo-spatial information technology in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion fo the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Explain the role of Geo-information in the response phase of a disaster.
  • Gain awareness of GIS methodologies related to the rapid mapping processing chain to support emergency response.
  • Identify, access, search, collect, organize and analyses geospatial data for emergency response mapping.
  • Apply basic GIS methodologies to perform impact analysis and preliminary damage assessment in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 

Content and Structure

The course is extended over 3 workdays structured around the following topics:

  • The use of satellite imagery for disaster relief and recovery.
  • Searching, exploring, gathering, and integrating geospatial data for emergency response mapping.
  • Impact analysis and preliminary damage assessment.
  • Building damage assessment.

The number of estimated hours required to complete the course is 18, which means a workload of 6 hours on average per day.


This is a face to face course. Full time lectures and GIS lab exercises using real case disaster scenarios from past events (80% Lab Exercise, 20% lectures and discussions).

Targeted Audience

Professionals working in governmental organizations who wish to strengthen their GIS skills in emergency response mapping. It is recommended that participants taking the course have a working knowledge of English including basic experience in GIS and Remote Sensing applications.

Additional Information



Software Required:

ESRI ArcGIS version 10 with extensions (spatial analyst). Google Earth, Access to internet.

Class Size:

The number of participants is limited to 10.

Course Coordination:

Mr. Luca Dell’Oro, Research Associate, UNITAR/UNOSAT (luca.delloro@unitar.org)