DigitalGlobe powers Penn State University’s GEOINT massive open online course with satellite imagery and human geography layers

DigitalGlobe recently partnered with Penn State University, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Esri for the capstone exercise of Geospatial Intelligence & the Geospatial Revolution MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by Penn State. This exercise allowed students to access an interactive map with current satellite imagery and over 40 DigitalGlobe Landscape +Human map layers to evaluate possible locations for Ebola treatment clinics in Monrovia, Liberia, using Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform. The map was developed to realistically parallel the NGA Ebola Support page for which we provided satellite imagery and map layers to support the international community’s response to the Ebola outbreak.

NGA Director Robert Cardillo highlighted this collaboration in his remarks to the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC, on Feb. 10, saying that he too participated in the MOOC.

The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is the largest outbreak of this disease in history. As of March 16, there were 24,597 cases of the disease (14,591 lab-confirmed cases) and 10,144 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Critical to effectively enabling first responders is for them to have a current and accurate representation of people and infrastructure in countries including Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

The DigitalGlobe team has had the privilege to support those working to combat the threat of this disease. In partnership with NGA, DigitalGlobe provided high-resolution satellite imagery and map data layers to fill in data gaps to better understand the human and physical geography of the affected people and places. DigitalGlobe Landscape +Human datasets are analyst-ready map layers that serve as a “quick-start” for conducting geospatial analysis to aid in responding to this crisis. This map data can help decision-makers answer questions such as:

  • Where is an ideal place to locate an Ebola relief clinic?
  • What is the most efficient route to transport supplies to aid stations?
  • Where are the next cases of the outbreak most likely to occur?

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