May 19, 2008 -- Following the devastating sweep of Cyclone Nargis across Myanmar, the Respond consortium - co-ordinated by Infoterra Ltd, is delivering up-to-date geographic information vital for the relief process.
On 4th May, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) asked the International Charter on 'Space and Major Disasters' for support. The International Charter is a joint initiative by global space agency members to provide emergency satellite data in response to major disasters. The Charter was immediately activated to provide satellite imagery to support the relief efforts in Myanmar.
Infoterra's management team for Respond (a GMES project to provide the humanitarian relief community with geographic information services) is working alongside the Charter project manager, UNOSAT, to coordinate the production and delivery of maps for the affected regions.
Through Respond, mapping of the 'Irrawaddy Division' was delivered on 10th May - using radar satellite data in order to see through cloud and to complete the capture of the extent of the devastating flooding.
Following recent reports from the UN OCHA regional field office that further bad weather is forecast for the areas affected by the disaster, production of additional radar mapping of the flooded regions is underway. The maps will be used to monitor the flooded areas in order to determine whether the floods are receding, or whether the expectant heavy rain is likely to exacerbate the current situation.
Over the last few months, up-to-date mapping of the Ayeyarwady district of Myanmar has been produced for a key aid agency. This was initiated due to the severe rainfall the region has been experiencing and to capture information where little or no mapping is available. These new maps and geo-information data layers, which include mapping of the main infrastructure, are now being used by relief organisations and are available for free download at
About Infoterra Ltd
Infoterra Ltd is a leading provider of geographic information products and services. Its portfolio of geographic information solutions includes airborne and satellite data acquisition, geo-information creation, database management and outsourced hosting. Infoterra provides geospatial knowledge to companies worldwide to help them make informed decisions. The company has major customers in utilities, insurance, engineering, agriculture, defence and oil, gas & mineral exploration.
Infoterra Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS Astrium, Europe's leading space systems and services specialist. Infoterra Ltd is part of the Infoterra Group, which also comprises companies in France, Germany, Hungary and Spain
Respond is an alliance of European and International organisations working with the humanitarian community to improve access to maps, satellite imagery and geographic information. Respond is part of the European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.
GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is a European initiative for the co-ordination, generation and provision of information services to key decision makers - local, regional and global - to support vital environmental and security issues. The services provided by GMES - mapping, support for emergency management and forecasting - will be vital for security and risk management, as well as enabling better management of land and resources.
The International Charter
The International Charter aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters through Authorised Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.
For more information contact
Sarah Haslam, Infoterra Ltd, +44 (0)116 273 2300,
Cheryl Billson, PR for Infoterra, +44 (0)7791 720460,