SUPPORTING MANAGEMENT OF EUROPEAN REFUGEE STREAMS BY EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION
Keywords: Refugee streams, Data Mining, Earth Observation, Detecting habitation reserves
Abstract. The sharp increase in refugee numbers arriving in the European Union has recently caused major and manifold challenges for the member states and their administrative services. Location based situation reports and maps may support the refugee management from local to European level. The first support is mapping of the geographical distribution of migrating people which needs more or less real time data. The actual data sources are location related observations along the routes of refugees, actual satellite observations and data mining results. These tools and data are used to monitor spatial distributions as well as extrapolate the arrival of refugees for the subsequent weeks. The second support is the short term update of the location of initial registration facilities and first reception facilities, their capacities, and their occupancy. The third management level is the systematic inquiry for unoccupied housing facilities and for empty places within build-up areas. Geo-coded data sets of house numbers have to be cross-referenced with city maps and communal inhabitants address data. The legal aspects of data mining and secured access to personal data are strictly controlled by the administration allowing only limited access and distribution of data and results. However, the paper will not disclose scientific progress in Earth Observation and GIS, but will actually demonstrate an urgently needed new combination of existing methods to support actual needs. The societal benefits of EO/GIS are no longer just potential possibilities, but actual results in real political, administrative and humanitarian day to day reality.