Crowd source geospatial application wins European Space Agency award
October 2012, Munich, Germany - At an award ceremony in Munich in October 2012, AnsuR Technologies of Norway, a long standing partner of UNITAR/UNOSAT, won the ESA App Challenge, part of the GMES Masters European Earth Monitoring Competition. The ASIGN crowd-source app, developed by AnsuR and partners within the EU research project GEO-PICTURES, allows citizens worldwide to automatically upload and share geo-referenced pictures, videos and other data.
The application works on Android and iOS operating systems and has been tested by UNOSAT in operational contexts during natural disaster response in Colombia, Haiti, Thailand, Pakistan, Nigeria and other countries, in combination with UNOSAT rapid mapping.
The ASIGN solution won the ESA App Challenge for the best application idea for the use of GMES on mobile phones, addressing one or more GMES main thematic areas (land, marine environment, atmosphere, climate change, and emergency management). The application provides near-real-time integration of pictures, video, sensor data and assessment results from anywhere in the world. In presenting the Awards, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency said “I was pleased to learn that, in 2012, the response to the GMES Masters has once again been very strong, turning out a large variety of innovative ideas for the commercial use of data and services from the GMES programme”
In the case of UNOSAT, the tool provides UNOSAT experts in Geneva with fast situational information that is useful in interpreting satellite imagery in complex situations, such as dense urban environment. In emergency situations receiving information directly from teams and citizens present in the areas affected is of paramount importance to know what has happened and where.
“This is a great achievement for a small start-up company. It shows we can develop solutions that are appreciated and cutting-edge” said Harald Skinnemoen, Managing Director & Executive Chairman of AnsuR. “We are most pleased on AnsuR’s behalf. This app is now an integral part of our humanitarian rapid mapping service” says Einar Bjorgo, officer in charge at UNOSAT.
Before becoming a prize-winning application, the tool had been tested by researches and experts including UNOSAT analysts and widely discussed with the humanitarian user community.
Images courtesy of ESA/GMES.
Above: the 2012 winners.
Below, Mr. Dordain addressing participants at the event.