Volunteers Scour Satellite Images Of Nepal Earthquake To Help Coordinate Relief Efforts

Nepalese Military Police officials search through rubble in the earthquake damaged area of Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kath
Nepalese Military Police officials search through rubble in the earthquake damaged area of Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on April 28, 2015. Hungry and desperate villagers rushed towards relief helicopters in remote areas of Nepal, begging to be airlifted to safety, four days after a monster earthquake killed nearly 4,500 people. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) - More than 4,500 people have volunteered to examine 14,000 square kilometers of satellite imagery collected over Nepal to help relief efforts after Saturday's earthquake killed more than 3,900 people, imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc said.

DigitalGlobe spokesman Turner Brinton said the company captured clear imagery of the area on Monday with its WorldView-3 satellite that was being used by volunteers to tag damaged buildings, roads and other areas to help disaster teams on the ground.

The company, based in Longmont, Colo., said it had made its high resolution imagery of the affected areas available to relief groups and other responding to the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake.

The company also has a subscription service that provides emergency management and humanitarian workers with fast, web-based access to images captured before and after the earthquake.

It said it had data from April 1, 2015, that could be used to aid understanding and coordination for on-the-ground missions.

"While satellite imagery on its own is useful, greater benefit comes from extracting meaningful information that can be used by first responder and recovery agencies," Brinton said.

Thus far, he said the volunteers had tagged 21,975 areas for relief workers, including 3,128 damaged buildings and 1,129 damaged roads.

The company said it had also activated the crowdsourcing platform called Tomnod, which was used by more than 8 million people to scour satellite images after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-370 last year. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ken Wills)

The button below indicates how much has been raised on Crowdrise's "Nepal Earthquake Relief" page. Click to visit the site and donate.



Deadly Earthquake Rocks Nepal