Automatic Damage assessment using textural analysis: built up structures in red (Wen Chuan Earthquake 2008)
JRC supports Chinese authorities in post earthquake measures
At the request of the European Commission Delegation in China and in agreement with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) provided a scientific and technical support package to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CAS/CEODE), in order to contribute to post Wen Chuan earthquake disaster measures, such as damage assessment for reconstruction planning and future disaster risk reduction initiatives.
The S&T support package comprised two components:
- acquisition of high and very high resolution optical and radar pre- and post-disaster satellite data for ten locations identified by the China Academy of Sciences;
- assistance of a JRC-IPSC team comprising 3 specialists in post-disaster damage assessment for reconstruction needs and mapping, human settlements recognition and analysis, large-scale/project mapping, automatic image processing and analysis techniques for handling HR/VHR satellite data.
The JRC-IPSC engaged intensively with the hosting scientific team at the CAS/CEODE in three main scientific operations:
- transfer of know-how on texture based change detection on the basis of algorithms developed at the JRC-IPSC,
- joint benchmarking of VHR optical and radar data for identification of direct damage associated with the Wen Chuan earthquake,
- automatic extraction of built-up index layers over large areas to potentially support future reconstruction planning, disaster risk reduction and rapid response operations.
The delivery of high and very high resolution satellite data was made possible thanks to the JRC's connection to the high-speed research network GEANT, whose aim is to interconnect, at Gigabit speed, European research networks. Two years ago, by means of the EU funded ORIENT project, GEANT was connected through a 2.5 Gb/s connection to CERNET, the China Education and Research NETwork. This is the combination of networks that has been used to bridge the 20,000 km between the JRC Ispra site and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and which showed to be several orders of magnitude faster than standard commercial internet connectivity.