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 Overview8/25/2015101
Satellite Mapping Overview8/21/201595
Satellite Mapping Overview8/11/2015138
Satellite Mapping Overview8/4/2015159
Satellite Mapping Overview7/27/2015197
Satellite Mapping Overview7/14/2015279
Satellite Mapping Overview7/7/2015225
Satellite Mapping Overview6/30/2015236
Satellite Mapping Overview6/23/2015261
Satellite Mapping Overview6/16/2015274
Satellite Mapping Overview6/9/2015338
Satellite Mapping Overview6/2/2015354
Satellite Mapping Overview5/26/2015352
Satellite Mapping Overview5/19/2015369
Satellite Mapping Overview5/12/2015450
Satellite Mapping Overview5/6/2015459
Satellite Mapping Overview4/29/2015619
Satellite Mapping Overview4/22/2015756
Satellite Mapping Overview4/16/2015382
Satellite Mapping Overview4/8/2015366
Satellite Mapping Overview3/31/2015450
Satellite Mapping Overview3/24/2015481
Satellite Mapping Overview3/17/2015473
Satellite Mapping Overview3/10/2015513
Satellite Mapping Overview3/3/2015500
Satellite Mapping Overview2/26/2015457
Satellite Mapping Overview2/17/2015528
Satellite Mapping Overview2/10/2015510
Satellite Mapping Overview2/3/2015495
Satellite Mapping Overview1/27/2015545
Satellite Mapping Overview1/21/2015595
Satellite Mapping Overview1/13/2015634
Satellite Mapping Overview1/6/2015667
Satellite Mapping Overview12/23/2014707
Satellite Mapping Overview12/17/2014662
Satellite Mapping Overview12/9/2014715
Satellite Mapping Overview12/2/2014801
Satellite Mapping Overview11/26/2014649
Satellite Mapping Overview11/18/2014734
Satellite Mapping Overview11/11/2014786
Satellite Mapping Overview11/3/2014763
Satellite Mapping Overview10/27/2014788
Satellite Mapping Overview10/21/2014893
Satellite Mapping Overview10/8/2014997
Satellite Mapping Overview5/6/20142482
Satellite Mapping Overview4/22/20141202
Satellite Mapping Overview4/9/20141401
Satellite Mapping Overview4/1/20141273
Satellite Mapping Overview3/25/20141108
Satellite Mapping Overview3/18/20141017
Satellite Mapping Overview3/12/20141231
Satellite Mapping Overview2/26/20141001
Satellite Mapping Overview2/11/20141411
Satellite Mapping Overview1/22/20141416
Satellite Mapping Overview1/9/20141567
 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.