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Partnership Between EuroGeographics and European Environment Agency on Emergency Management Service

Matt Ball on May 8, 2012 - in Emergency, Modeling, Projects

EuroGeographics and the European Environment Agency (EEA) put national mapping and cadastral agencies’ data at heart of the GMES emergency management service. Emergency services working in the immediate aftermath of disasters will benefit from fast access to pan-European mapping created from interoperable, geospatial data thanks to an agreement between EuroGeographics and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The agreement, signed today (16th November) at the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) plenary in Istanbul, will improve access to data from national mapping and cadastral agencies in Europe to help provide a common operational picture for those involved in crisis management to work from. Civil protection agencies, national and local emergency services, humanitarian aid organisations and European Union bodies will all be able to use the rush-mode mapping and damage assessment maps created as part of the GMES emergency management service. This service may be activated on any day at any time and aims to provide reference maps just 6 hours after gaining access to earth observation data and damage assessment maps within 24 hours.

“Our members are committed to maintaining their national geospatial data and making this available. They are, therefore delighted to work with the EEA to contribute to this important initiative that will benefit people right across Europe,” says Ingrid Vanden Berghe, President of EuroGeographics, the Association for European national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies.

“In turn, EuroGeographics is very pleased to be able to facilitate the delivery of members’ data to the GMES emergency management service. This agreement creates a framework in which to provide our members’ definitive, high-quality and reliable geospatial data, as well as their extensive knowledge, with those operating and benefiting from the GMES emergency management service.”

“Disasters in Europe are more frequent and more damaging than ten years ago,” Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA, said. “We need to be able to respond even more quickly to all kinds of disasters, such as floods, storms, earthquakes and industrial accidents. This agreement is extremely important, bringing together the most up-to-date geospatial data to rapidly produce emergency response maps. This collaboration will save lives.”

The importance of GMES is to provide easily, accessible information at the global level by acquiring and analysing precise and useful data for those involved in environmental monitoring and civil protection. The value of the GMES emergency management service has already been recognised particularly in response to flooding and humanitarian disasters. One of the key aims of the GMES emergency management service is the provision of  pre-emergency asset information in affected areas, in particular infrastructure, impact extent delineation, quantification and grading of damage. It will also provide information to follow the evolution of the emergency situation in the hours and days after the service activation request.

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