Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:16

CSIRO’s Data61 collaborates with Radiant.Earth on disaster management research

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CSIRO’s innovation network Data61 is partnering with US-based non-profit geospatial and imagery technology platform Radiant.Earth to develop joint research into satellite imagery and earth observation data for disaster resilience in human disaster management, health, climate change and sustainable water management.

The announcement of the collaboration follows publication of a recent report by the United Nations which found 41% of all disasters caused by natural hazards reported over the past two decades have occurred in the Asia-Pacific region.

The partnership will see Data61 and Radiant.Earth leverage their existing resources, networks and facilities in real-time modelling, machine learning and visualisation technologies for mutual benefits.

The two organisations say one planned activity will include hosting of open data on Radiant.Earth's platform, and demonstration of Data61’s mapping products and tools on that platform such as TerriaJS, for the purpose of supporting mission critical programs, primarily in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Radiant.Earth chief executive Anne Hale Miglarese said that in support of the global development community, Radiant.Earth’s mission is to connect people worldwide to Earth imagery, geospatial data, tools, and knowledge “to meet the world’s most critical challenges”.

“The world is awash in Earth observation data, but most of the low and middle income countries are still poorly mapped and served by geospatial technologies.

“Partnering with Data61 to drive open remote sensing science will help us serve this community better, including non-profits working in global development, as well as national and regional government entities.”

CSIRO’s Data61 chief executive Adrian Turner said the partnership with Radiant.Earth was an example of how science and technology and cross-border partnerships can deliver benefit to the global community.

“Data61 has world-leading expertise in applying data visualisation and geospatial tools like TerriaJS to inform decision making around smart cities and infrastructure, including mapping renewable energy systems or demographics in different locations to inform policy decision making.

“In addition, with technologies like SPARK and AMICUS, we can predict the behaviour and spread of bushfires and have worked with local emergency services organisations and government in Australia to plan for emergencies.”

Turner said a combination of approaches, including Radiant.Earth’s extensive network, would be used to improve disaster resilience among disadvantaged communities in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming months.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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