ADRC International Paper
No.1, August-2001
Information Technology For Disaster Management 

Utilizing Satellite Images for Comprehensive Urban Disaster Relief

Atsushi Takeda

Tohoku Bunka Gakuen University 6-45-16 Kunimi, Aoba, Sendai, 981-8551 Japan




For urban disaster management in an emergency, fast information about damage to public facilities such as roads, bridges, railways and so on will be absolutely necessary.  So far as this application is concerned, conventional satellite images have been useless. But information gained by satellite has the potential for assisting quick aid and rescue management of disasters occurring beyond national border.

In this study, the feasibility of the application of 1-meter ground resolution images by the recently launched IKONOS satellite is examined for the case of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake.  IKONOS 1-meter resolution panchromatic images, overlapped with 4-m resolution RGB image over the several sites where typical damage is seen in the air photos taken just after the event, are selected and compared with the air photo images at the same reduced scale.

The result was the clear identification on the IKONOS images of traces of earthquake damage, such as a fallen bridge, a derailed train, fires, fire ruins, collapsed wooden houses and large cracks on reclaimed. The confused situation after the disaster, such as traffic jams and tents for the displaced, are also recognizable on the images.

It is concluded that traces of major damage in an urban disaster could be extracted from the 1-meter resolution image overlapped with RGB images.

Keywords: Satellite; IT, I-Space

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© 2001 Asian Disaster Reduction Center