Microtasking Satellite Imagery Analysis for Disaster Response

Patrick Meier (Ushahidi)
Location Development Yerba Buena Salon 12-14
Average rating: ****.
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DigitalGlobe produces more than 2 million square kilometers of satellite imagery every day and at higher resolution. Automated software algorithms have yet to catch up to address this big data problem. This is a big data problem that needs mass human intervention until the software can catch up. At the same time, the United Nations and other disaster response organizations are making increasing use of very high resolution satellite imagery but do not have the staff to fully leverage this important data. This presentation will share the most cutting edge and pioneering work in this area, which is being spearheaded by the speaker, Patrick Meier. Catalyzing novel partnerships between DigitalGlobe, the United Nations, Tomnod and a global volunteer network, the speaker launched two projects, one in Somalia and one in Syria to support disaster response and human right efforts in both countries by crowdsourcing the microtasking of very high resolution satellite imagery. Thanks to these pioneering initiatives, IDP camps in Somalia were able to be located while evidence of massive human rights violations were able to be corroborated. The proof of concept is now being expanded to other regions around the world and stands to make a important difference for future crises.

Photo of Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier


Patrick is an accomplished speaker having presented at numerous international confer-ences including the Skoll World Forum, PopTech, Where 2.0, TTI/Vanguard and several TEDx’s. He is also a distinguished scholar, holding a PhD from The Fletcher School, a Doctoral Fellowship from Stanford University and an MA from Columbia University.
  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Nokia, Location & Commerce
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Control Group
  • Localeze
  • MyCityWay
  • Socrata
  • Urban Airship
  • MapQuest

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