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Satellite based flood mapping to build resilience – Jeff Ho (Geo4Dev 2018)

Technology

Dr. Jeff Ho is the Senior Remote Sensing Scientist at Cloud to Street, where he leads the development of new algorithms for global flood detection and manages the development of new products for disaster risk response. Cloud to Street leverages satellite earth observation data for mapping flood exposure, risk and vulnerability in the developing world, and its remote sensing platform dynamically maps local flood vulnerability globally. Jeff received his PhD and MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, where his research on satellite remote sensing of water quality and water access monitoring in resource-constrained settings has been described in numerous academic publications and featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and PBS News Hour. He is a former Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Doctoral scholar and a former Rising Environmental Leaders Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Dr. Jeff Ho’s talk is titled: Satellite based flood mapping to build resilience: applications from the Eastern Nile Basin to the Republic of Congo. Flood events affect more people globally than any other type of environmental hazard and are expected to increase in severity and frequency due to climate and demographic change. However, many current approaches to evaluate flood exposure and manage emergency response are not leveraging satellite remote sensing to improve accessibility and speed of flood risk information in the places that need it the most. This talk will describe how Cloud to Street uses satellite data to fill critical gaps in disaster decision-making in the developing world. Examples from South America and Africa will demonstrate how geospatial data from satellite imagery are bridging the flood risk information gap in low- and middle-income countries.

The 2nd Annual Symposium on Geospatial Analysis for International Development (Geo4Dev) focused on geospatial research that addresses climate- and conflict-driven migration and humanitarian response. This includes observation and modeling of migration and human settlement patterns (in response to climate or conflict stressors), as well as the design and evaluation of interventions for humanitarian crises, mass migration, and community resilience.

Geo4Dev is a yearly event focused on the use of novel geospatial data and analytic techniques to address issues of poverty, sustainable development, urbanization, climate change, and economic growth in developing countries and beyond. This includes a particular emphasis on the use of emerging geo-tagged big data, including satellite, social media, and CDR datasets.

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