Friday, May 28, 2010

NOAA GOES to South America

It's low-resolution (1-4km) imagery from an old sensor with an ageing propulsion system, but nonetheless, according to the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), weather forecasters in South America should now be able to get 'more imagery and data to track dangerous storms – including tropical cyclones – and the storms that can trigger potentially deadly mudslides'. This is because NOAA has shifted the GOES-12 satellite to a geostationary orbit at 60 degrees West longitude - a position over Brasil and a tad south of Guyana - to cover South America. It became operational on May 10, 2010. For those more interested in the other end of the remote sensing spectrum, resolution-wise, see this previous post.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

NGOs of the World Unite!

NGOs, put yourselves on the map. Or at least put yourselves on a map. Have a look at this great idea by the National Geographic Society (NGS) - Global Action Atlas. It's a website showing the locations and profiles of projects managed by nonprofits around the world in the areas of conservation, humanitarian affairs, cultural preservation, climate change, exploration, and energy.

Frank Biasi of the NGS says that it's being built 'to give the nonprofit community a rich platform to promote their work and attract supporters, and to use National Geographic's brand and reach to engage a large audience of inspired individuals to take action'. I also think that because this facility is open and accessible to all, it will serve a useful purpose when one needs to reach able organisations in an emergency such as a natural disaster.

For instance, we can all still remember the confusion and the need to reach organisations through which assistance could be channeled in the days and weeks following the Jan 2010 earthquake and the Sep 2008 flood in Haiti. By the way, only three of the 300 or more projects that I know exist in Haiti are represented, so far. This beta release does seem to choke once in a while as it loads VirtualEarth and other components along with its own data, but come on Caribbean NGOs, get yourself listed.