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Working Groups

GIS/Remote Sensing Working Group -- UN-GDIN-Industry Partnership

You build an understanding of disaster science by pulling together the best minds in the business.  Two of the best did just that by jointly fostering a discussion on the use of GIS and remote sensing in natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.   Dr. Bouchardy of UNHCR and Dr. Côté of ESRI took time away from their valuable work to develop this conversation, one which formed a foundation for a number of products in different emergencies, as well as the Native American project.


Coordinators were:


  • Dr. Jean-Yves Bouchardy
    Chief Cartographer
    UNHCR, Geneva.
    Email: BOUCHARD@unhcr.ch
  • Carmelle J. Côté, Ph.D.
    International Relations/GIS Consultant
    ESRI - Washington, DC
    8620 Westwood Center Drive
    Vienna, VA 22182 USA
    Phone: 703-506-9515 ext. 8013
    Fax: 703-506-9514
    Email: ccote@esri.com
    Website: www.esri.com

Note:   GDIN Endorses ESRI products


  • To identify, stimulate or develop as appropriate standards and procedures for using GIS and remote sensing technologies in disaster management. What is the role of Remote Sensing and GIS in Disaster Management, what other initiatives are going on, how can GDIN take advantage of them and provide added value, i.e., the Open GIS?  
  • As a result of the sterling work by the Working Group, GDIN was able to present a working plan of action to the Navajo and Pueblo indian nations, as well as the National Congress of American Indians on how to help native americans reduce risks to disasters.


Deliverables Presented at GDIN2001, Canberra, Australia:


  • Inventory of Existing programs related to international disaster management. (long term project)
  • Inventory of Corporations, NGO's, Academic Centers and International Organizations involved in the subject area, as it relates to disaster management. (long term project)
  • A paper that identified the most common problems using these technologies in technology challenged disaster-prone nations. Possible solutions will also be proposed.

Participants were:
  • Yaacov Bar-Lavi, Head of Control System Division in Disaster Situation, Government of Israel
  • Dr. Einar Bjorgo, Geographic Information Unit, UNHCR
  • Jean-Yves Bouchardy, Chief Cartographer (UNHCR)
  • Dr. Camelle J. Cote, ESRI and ISLEM
  • Rhonda Davis, UN/OCHA, later USAID
  • Dr. Benouar Djillali, Eng.BSc, M.Sc, Ph.D, DIC, Maître de Conférences, Associate Member of the Third World Academy of Science Expert to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Professor Hussein Guler, Project Coordinator, General Directorate of Disaster Affairs
  • Professor Polat Gulkan, Director of Disaster Management Research Center, Middle East Technical University, and Chairman of the Turkish GDIN Team.
  • Dr. VI Larionov, EMERCOM Russia
  • Carlos Mauco, UNDP
  • Professor MA Shakhramanjyan, EMERCOM Russia
  • Lee Tilton, USG, GDIN Transition Team


Reports and Links: