The tragedy caused by the earthquake in Haiti has proved that there is a large number of resources that can be used to a good coverage and, actually, help the people hit on the ground.
In terms of good tools that have been used to help the people. I would mention the updates made by Google and GeoEye with high resolution pictures of Porto Principe, the capital of Haiti.
Besides that, the map build through hundreds of alerts by Ushahidi has proven to be both a strong information and aid system
Finally it is important to say that the press have benefit itself for the large amount of information generated. I particularly liked the job done by The New York Times which allow people to easily compare the satellite pictures
And one thing more, just remembered. On journalism skills. It is possible to follow earthquakes in real time by using the US Geological Service interactive map
The microsoft programme Sea Dragon it is proving to be an unique tool for exploring satellite images. Web users can interact and explore the details of the image in 2D format as they do with Google Maps.
See this test I did with a image from Paraguai and Brazil
If this script does not work try to see this test I did at O Eco
The image was downloaded from the Modis Subsets, as soon as we know that there fires happening in Manaus.
I believe Sea Dragon will help quite a lot
I have been away of using this platform for updating news on geojournalism. But here I am , back to the track. And the news are good enough to keep things going here. First, an invitation, if you reading this post, consider following geojournalism on twitter @geojournalism. Second is to say that projects that involve use of satellite image are becoming more frequent and that we, at O Eco website – http://www.oeco.com.br, are now involved on using ESA’s images. I tell you more details soon
I just launched a broader project of geojournalism at O Eco (http://www.oeco.com.br/geonoticias). It is called Geonotícia (Geonews, translanding from Portuguese). It is much more complete than the previous experience (http://www.oeco.com.br/monitor) because finaly I managed to use the Earth directly on the website. The idea is to produce a story over the Google Earth.
But also I will be exploring the satellite images in a simple way. Basicaly the idea is to bring ground information to what the pictures are showing from the sky.
My friend James Fahn, who is the mentor of the Earth Journalists Network (EJN), has sent me an interesting article published at e360. Written byRhett Butler, it tells how satellites images have been made acessible latetly for a wider audience and how this is helping to improve conservation. There is a lot of good information about the work that Mark Mulligan, professor at the King´s College London, is doing with the help of Google Earth. I myself have written a story for O Eco about his Healthy Planet. Also, Butler has remembered how Brazil is leading the use of environmental satellites to track deforestation and how, with the advent of REDD, this might be a good opportunity of improving forest surveillance.
However, I fell like doing a post-scriptum for e360 article by defending my team here. Journalists are doing good use of the satellites and the geoweb tolls. I have shown in some posts bellow how useful it might be to tell a story about deforestation just spotting fire pixels in a map. Also how powerful it is to grab a image from the Modis Subset website and interpret it by yourself. I think the idea about having journalists doing this is having a complete different approach to these images, which use to be within a black box not long time ago.
Well, maybe I talked too much about what I have done by using these tools. So here is a tip for one the best geoweb stories done so far. It tells about the shirinking of the Aral Sea. You can download it here. (open in the new version Google Earth 5.0 – click here to update)
If you want to have an idea of what you going to see. Just watch the video bellow
If you are interested on how communicate climate change in a good and appealing way, it is worth have a look on the new web site launched by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As I said before, Nasa is doing good journalism and we have some stuff to learn with them.