UN ASIGN is a free crowd-sourcing app made available by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) to support its operations. It allows anyone to upload geotagged photos with annotations that are then integrated into UNOSAT mapping products in near real time. It is specifically designed to work over low bandwidth, and the contributions are automatically mapped, to help in overall situational awareness and documentation. Having access to images and feedback of the ground is critical for UNOSAT’s activities to validate the satellite image-based assessments. The relevant feedback is shared with the coordination entities in the field for a comprehensive assessment of the situation. Users with a mobile device and an internet connection can also view the contributions on the map in real time, or load an area to be viewed later on in off-line mode.
Fields of Applications
- Ground validation of analysis
- Emergency response
- Disaster Risk Management
- Monitoring & Evaluation of development projects
- Centralized Web-based Control
- Optimized for low bandwidth
- Crowd and Secured Versions
- Real-time geotagged inputs
- Crowd-sourced data collection
- Integration into GIS system
Mapping the damages due to an Earthquake, Nepal - Crowd Sourcing with UN ASIGN
On April 25th 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, quickly taking the proportions of a major disaster with many destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and large rural areas severely affected.
The UNOSAT Rapid Mapping Service immediately requested the support of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters and began carrying out rapid assessments of damage using available satellite images The damages in Kathmandu were important and clearly visible in the first satellite images released by UNOSAT on 27 April 2015.
The first pre-post imagery analysis was released within 48 hours, and a LiveMap was published to host all UNOSAT analysis and other data from partners, including field photos and footage collected from UN ASIGN.
Satellite imagery-based monitoring of development projects - Crowd Sourcing with UN ASIGN
UNOSAT has partnered with development agencies to develop GIS-based solutions for monitoring the progress and evaluating the outcomes of development projects in different countries. Through UN-ASIGN, ground images can be uploaded in real-time to a monitoring system. The pictures taken with the mobile application are combined with satellite imagery, allowing for more thorough and cost-effective monitoring and evaluation process.