The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B4
01 Aug 2012
 | 01 Aug 2012


P. Boccardo and F. G. Tonolo

Keywords: Earthquake, Damage Assessment, Remote Sensing, Haiti

Abstract. Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake on 12 January 2010. The immediate response to the disaster was a real turning point concerning the availability, dissemination and licensing of a huge quantity of geospatial data. Timely triggering of the Earth Observation satellites, and absence of cloud cover, allowed to acquire very high-resolution optical satellite imagery (spatial resolution up to 0.5m) over the main affected areas within a few hours of the disaster, while the whole country coverage was completed in a very short time span. Furthermore in the following days aerial imagery, high resolution SAR radar imagery as well as thermal and LiDAR data were widely acquired.
The paper will show how well established remote sensing techniques allowed to carry out earthquake damage assessment in a very short time, exploiting the synergic capabilities of geospatial tools and instruments such as EO satellites, Web mapping, GIS software and volunteer mapping.
In a few days several map products based on the aforementioned analysis were delivered to end users: a review of the different types and purposes of this products will be provided and discussed. An assessment of the thematic accuracy of remotely sensed based products will be carried out on the basis of a review of the several available studies focused on this issue, including the main outcomes of a validation based on a comparison with in-situ data performed by the authors.