EO4HumEn+ (2016 – 2018)


The number of forcibly uprooted people rises every year. Humanitarian action as one part of the response to this situation relies on targeted, up-to date and reliable information to handle this challenge. Within precursor activities and a close collaboration with Doctors without Borders (MSF), Z_GIS has started developing Earth-observation (EO) based solutions for the humanitarian sector. Thereby we address the following challenges: (1) large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide live not only in camps, but more than half of the world’s refugee population under UNHCR mandate lives in urban settings, (2) monitoring of environmental resources like groundwater or wood reserves is a concern of humanitarian actors, but the current EO-based solutions are seldom automated and therefore do not tap the full potential of the immense amounts of satellite data, and (3) there is an increasing demand for a diversified product portfolio within a growing user community.

The aim of the project EO4HumEn+ is to implement more automated routines to exploit the data stream of e.g. the Sentinel mission, improving the capabilities of EO methods to provide realistic population estimations also in urban areas as well as extend the established service portfolio to the diversifying needs of the humanitarian community, cooperating with a wide range of NGOs including ICRC, the Austrian Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages, MSF and Groundwater Relief.

Instrument: FFG, ASAP (Austrian Space Applications Program)

Role: Coordinator

Partners: DLR, Austrian Red Cross, Spatial Services GmbH

Project volume: 430.000 EUR, ZGIS share: 280.000 EUR

website: http://www.zgis.at/humanitarian-services/

Contact person: Stefan Lang,

Researchers involved: Dirk Tiede, Barbara Riedler, Lorenz Wendt, Gina Schwendemann