DigitalGlobe – An Incredible Response to a Terrible Tragedy
There’s an old saying that “a crisis can bring out the best in people.” Judging from our company’s response to the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, that certainly holds true at DigitalGlobe. Since the moment the news was reported last Tuesday that a massive 7.0 earthquake had struck near Port-au-Prince, our company immediately responded. Within hours, our first satellite access to Haiti had been planned, loaded on to WV-1 and less than 18 hours later we collected our first set of images of Haiti. Since then, our full satellite constellation including QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 have collected an incredible amount of high-resolution imagery over not just the capital city, but over the entire country. The brief list below spotlights just a few of the many ways that this company has responded to this catastrophe:
- Imagery Provided to Our Customers: As I have said in the past, we have a very real appreciation that our imaging saves lives. Since last Wednesday morning, our satellites have collected more than 115,000 km2 of imagery of Port-au-Prince and Haiti. We have imaged the area nearly every day and over the next two weeks have more than 20 collection opportunities to gather even more data. Our imagery has been provided to our core customers including NGA, the United Nations, USGS, Microsoft, Google, ESRI and dozens of humanitarian and relief agencies.
Moreover, we quickly decided last Wednesday to offer free access to both pre-and post-earthquake imagery via our new Crisis Event Service (CES), in hopes of being able to help further with people and organizations assisting with humanitarian and relief efforts. To date, over 3,100 people have registered for free access to CES.
- Imagery to the Media: Immediately after we collected our first WV1 imagery last Wednesday, our team prepared the first set of images and graphics to distribute to the media to show the scope and magnitude of this humanitarian crisis. I encouraged every employee to monitor closely our corporate website (www.digitalglobe.com) and to see first-hand our compelling images that graphically tell the story of the damage seen in and around Port-au-Prince. The result is that DigitalGlobe imagery is included in on-line and off-line media outlets from CNN to key blog sites.
DigitalGlobe also produced several imagery analytic presentations, which you can also find in our special Haiti imagery gallery section, that further show the world the scope and magnitude of damage. It’s clear that the world is watching what we provide: since last Wednesday, web traffic to our site has nearly tripled, the imagery and analysis packages have been downloaded nearly 25,000 times and our imagery examples have been shown widely in the media and on websites around the globe.
- New Ways of Delivering Information: Throughout the past five days, a small army of DG’ers has been working literally around the clock to find ways to deliver rapidly our imagery and services to our customers and partners. As mentioned earlier, we opened up our web services (specifically, the Crisis Event Service) to provide our imagery information to thousands of new users and leapfrogged our own development plans by rapidly enabling a KML (Google Earth) capability nearly a month earlier than we had originally planned. We also provided critical support to others by creating and maintaining a site where users could download large data sets of our imagery over Haiti. In addition, our Web Services feeds have been picked up by other people who are helping to respond to this crisis. Over the coming days, we will be gathering up the examples of how our Web Services have been leveraged, and share them with all of you.
- Extending our Impact: In order to let customers/prospects and visitors to our site have an easy way to personally help the Haiti community we linked to a set of high impact, on the ground relief projects that visitors to our site can donate directly to http://www.globalgiving.org/digitalglobe-haiti-earthquake/. We are one of the top 5 referrers to this giving portal and we are keeping company with the likes of Dell, HP, Pepsi and Nike as corporations pull their visitors, customers and employees together to help the Haitian community.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Collected on January 15, 2010 by QuickBird; 60-cm Natural color imagery.
Back to top^
Visit eMap's Website