Achievements

The history of UNOSAT achievements is based on technical soundness, a constant effort to focus on user needs and concrete solutions, technological advantage, and high impact at a low cost.

One important achievement is the dedicated support to the international humanitarian community. Launched in 2003, UNOSAT humanitarian rapid mapping service operates 24 hours a day all year-round ensuring that experts are available whenever needed for rapid acquisition and processing of satellite imagery and data to generate specific information and analyses, create maps and GIS layers. UNOSAT experts are deployed to the field when technical assistance is needed. This support service has earned UNOSAT credibility and visibility and the UN21 Award in 2006.

Once relief operations are over, we work to support early recovery and development activities to help countries recover after disasters and crises. The ability of UNOSAT to capitalize on data and information generated at the time of crisis to benefit recovery and development actors has been recognized in 2005 with the inclusion of UNOSAT in the Early Recovery Cluster of the Humanitarian Response Reform process (UNOSAT participates also in the Shelter and Emergency Telecommunications Clusters).

Another important achievement is the growing number of national and international development projects that receive support from UNOSAT for strategic territorial planning and advanced GIS applications. In these projects we use the expertise accumulated by the UNOSAT technical team and their field experience to bring a new technological edge to local capacity development often in the form of high quality consultancy and on-site support services.

UNOSAT experience is not limited to technical support; we are engaged in supporting the development of capacity locally and help communities to retain this capacity. To do so, we develop and implement integrated training modules and programmes that typically include the design and realization of GIS and cartographic centres that will continue to operate in the long term.

Created initially to exploit fully the potential of satellite earth observation, UNOSAT has developed skills in additional technical areas, such as satellite navigation and telecommunications, and is today looking at future of integrated solutions.

In Focus


UNOSAT partner UrtheCast of Canada has successfully installed cameras on the International Space Station in an unprecedented initiative to use the orbital station as a base to acquire images and HD videos of our planet. UNOSAT researchers are looking into how images and videos relayed in near-real time as the ISS flies around the planet can be used to help prevent and respond to emergency situations and disasters.

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UNOSAT is looking for volunteers to help the Team develop crowdsourcing applications to process media coming out of a disaster situation. To do that the UNITAR Satellite Programme has organised one of the Hack Day Challenges to be ran at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London in February 2014.
 

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As UNOSAT completes a first three-year capacity development programme in South East Asia, the demand of in-country training on geospatial applications and satellite analysis has not ceased to grow, prompting UNOSAT to establish a presence in Bangkok and plan more outreach in Asia Pacific together with ESCAP, ADPC and other partners.
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UNOSAT capacity development skills are increasingly popular with member states wishing to create and improve GIS solutions and satellite analysis capability, especially in the areas of disaster preparedness and response. UNOSAT has a long record of delivering ad-hoc training to share with national experts the know-how developed by the Geneva-based team of analysts in more than ten years of activity.

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Technology is changing the way ideas are communicated but, more than that, it is changing the ways things can be done. UNOSAT, the technology intensive programme of UNITAR, has been researching and experimenting with increasingly sophisticated crowdsourcing solutions. One of them is becoming a game-changer by putting citizens directly in charge of scientific tasks.

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