ABSTRACT: Immediately following the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a disaster response team from Rochester Institute of Technology, ImageCat Inc., and Kucera International, funded by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery group of the World Bank, collected 0.15 m airborne imagery and two points/m^2 lidar data for 650 km^2 over a period of seven days. Data were transferred to Rochester, New York for processing at rates that approached 400 Mb/s using Internet2, ortho-rectified with a 24-hour turnaround, and distributed to response agencies through file or disk transfer. A unique response effort, dubbed the Global Earth Observation - Catastrophe Assessment Network (GEO-CAN) and headed by ImageCat, utilized over 600 experts from 23 different countries to generate rapid turnaround damage assessment products. This paper highlights the airborne data collection, transfer, processing, and product development effort, which arguably has raised the bar in terms of response to large-scale disasters.
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 01/2011; 77(9):943-952.