Data, Maps and Satellite Imagery

Event-based data and information

Most information in GDACS is organized by event. GDACS collects and organizes several data types:

  • GIS data: In-situ sensor data, model output data, priority areas, baseline data, satellite image derived data (examples: flood extent, earthquake damage assessment, landslide extent) and more.
  • Media information: mass and social media, specifically related to events
  • Field data: reports, photos/videos, GEO-PICTURES and more 


GDACS offers automatic links to map products such as baseline maps, situation specific maps,damage assessments and web-maps. These maps are integrated by event in the VirtualOSSOC

Satellite imagery

Satellite imagery is served as web-services when copyright allows for it. Most of the time, satellite image derived products, such as PDF and online web-maps, as well as for example flood extents and earthquake damage assessments derived from satellite imagery are the most useful products for early responders. These products are also served as web-services for in-field or headquarter mapping by UN, NGOs and national entities, in VIrtualOSSOC and/or directly from the producing entity.

VirtualOSOCC facilitates on-demand map requests that are handled by UNITAR/UNOSAT, who coordinates the map production and dissemination among map producers worldwide in the early disaster phase. VirtualOSOCC users can also request triggering of the International Charter - Space and Major Disasters through GDACS/VirtualOSOCC, which then goes for review by OCHA and UNOSAT for potential activation.

GDACS Satellite Mapping Coordination System (SMCS) is a tool to inform of on-going and past satellite imagery analyses for specific events. It allows users to see which events are analysed by whom. This contributes to a horizontal (as opposed to top-down) coordination and to reduce duplication of efforts. The SMCS can be seen as a discussion forum and operational coordination tool for satellite image analysis professionals. GDACS encourages all satellite imagery analysis entities to contribute to the SMCS.. To contribute please contact

UNITAR/UNOSAT leads the GDACS working group on maps and satellite imagery and encourages all relevant entities to participate in this work, ensuring a close link to the GDACS user community. The GDACS Satellite Mapping Coordination System (SMCS) is a tool for GIS-experts working with satellite imagery for specific events. It allows users to see which images are collected where and which entity is working on what type of analysis.

SARWeather of the Icelandinc Institute for Meteorological Research (IMR) provides detailed online weather forecast maps rapidly on request for any location worldwide. Relevant maps and forecasts are integrated automatically into VirtualOSOCC disaster discussions.

GDACS produces a regular summary of relevant satellite mapping activities currently on-going.

Event-based information sources

GDACS is a collaboration platform for organisations providing information on humanitarian disasters. From a technical point of view, GDACS links information of all participating organisations using a variety of systems to have a harmonized list of data sources.In 2011, the GDACS platform was completely revised to collect, store and distribute resources explicitly by events. The system matches information from all organisations (by translating unique identifiers), and make these resources available for GDACS users and developers in the form of GDACS Platform Services.

The GDACS RSS feed automatically include a list of available resources.

The services include:


 Satellite Mapping Overview
 TitleModified DateClicks
Satellite Mapping Overview7/27/2015103
Satellite Mapping Overview7/14/2015196
Satellite Mapping Overview7/7/2015150
Satellite Mapping Overview6/30/2015164
Satellite Mapping Overview6/23/2015183
Satellite Mapping Overview6/16/2015187
Satellite Mapping Overview6/9/2015261
Satellite Mapping Overview6/2/2015267
Satellite Mapping Overview5/26/2015275
Satellite Mapping Overview5/19/2015276
Satellite Mapping Overview5/12/2015375
Satellite Mapping Overview5/6/2015385
Satellite Mapping Overview4/29/2015538
Satellite Mapping Overview4/22/2015674
Satellite Mapping Overview4/16/2015298
Satellite Mapping Overview4/8/2015298
Satellite Mapping Overview3/31/2015377
Satellite Mapping Overview3/24/2015400
Satellite Mapping Overview3/17/2015401
Satellite Mapping Overview3/10/2015440
Satellite Mapping Overview3/3/2015427
Satellite Mapping Overview2/26/2015373
Satellite Mapping Overview2/17/2015441
Satellite Mapping Overview2/10/2015432
Satellite Mapping Overview2/3/2015421
Satellite Mapping Overview1/27/2015475
Satellite Mapping Overview1/21/2015527
Satellite Mapping Overview1/13/2015547
Satellite Mapping Overview1/6/2015581
Satellite Mapping Overview12/23/2014619
Satellite Mapping Overview12/17/2014575
Satellite Mapping Overview12/9/2014637
Satellite Mapping Overview12/2/2014719
Satellite Mapping Overview11/26/2014568
Satellite Mapping Overview11/18/2014635
Satellite Mapping Overview11/11/2014707
Satellite Mapping Overview11/3/2014673
Satellite Mapping Overview10/27/2014705
Satellite Mapping Overview10/21/2014813
Satellite Mapping Overview10/8/2014916
Satellite Mapping Overview5/6/20142404
Satellite Mapping Overview4/22/20141126
Satellite Mapping Overview4/9/20141320
Satellite Mapping Overview4/1/20141188
Satellite Mapping Overview3/25/20141037
Satellite Mapping Overview3/18/2014946
Satellite Mapping Overview3/12/20141155
Satellite Mapping Overview2/26/2014928
Satellite Mapping Overview2/11/20141323
Satellite Mapping Overview1/22/20141341
Satellite Mapping Overview1/9/20141490
 OCHA Humanitarian Icons
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA) has created a set of 500 freely available humanitarian icons to help relief workers present emergency and crisis-related information quickly and simply. has optimized the symbols for web mapping. JRC has created a ArcGIS style for use in ArcMap.