UNOSAT is home to an advanced centre of excellence for satellite imagery and data analysis operating since 2001.
The UNOSAT mapping team continues the tradition of high quality map and geospatial data production for UNOSAT ongoing since 2003. In accordance with UNITAR strategic objectives, UMG provides geospatial support to the UN system and other organizations in the areas of:
- disaster response
- humanitarian operations
- human security and the application of international humanitarian law
- human rights
Geospatial support conducted by UMG is broad and wide ranging, and generally occurs in response to direct requests from partner organizations or in response to perceived needs among the international sector. This type of support includes:
- Operations: advanced imagery analysis and geospatial products provided on request to partner organizations: analysis, digitization, reporting, map production,evidence development, image search and procurement, geodatabase development, web services production, and more
- Research and development: exploratory information development to exploit new sensors, data sources, methods, and technical resources to enable improved service delivery for partner organizations
- Outreach: User relations, communication and awareness raising to provide information and participate in public events and conferences with partner organizations.
These activities may be done in rapid mapping mode in response to a major disaster or other such events, or can occur over longer timeframes under contracts and agreements with partner organizations. The UMG is continually providing an array of geospatial services to partner organizations across the UN system and the international commuity. Services include but are not limited to:
- Imagery Searching, Selection, and Acquisition: UMG is frequently asked to assess available satellite imagery for specific purposes in areas around the world.
- Image Digitizing: UMG frequently digitizes refugee camps, border crossing, road networks, and a wide variety of other features.
- Image Analysis: Image analysis is a longstanding activity of UMG, consisting of refugee and IDP assessments, damage assessments, security assessments, flood assessment, human rights analysis, and multispectral analysis.
- Cartographic Production: Almost all image digitization and analysis must be developed into cartographic PDF products
- Report Production: Many digitization and analysis results are developed into longer and more detailed reports
- Service Publishing and Web Map Production: image and vector services are made available in web maps and Google Earth.