ImageCat Investigates Tsunami Damage Using DigitalGlobe Satellite Imagery

LONGMONT, Colo., Feb. 7 — DigitalGlobe(R) announced that ImageCat Inc. is using DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird satellite imagery to assess damage resulting from the massive Indian Ocean tsunami that was triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26, killing more than 226,000 people.

On Jan. 7, ImageCat and the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) traveled to Phuket, Thailand with engineers from Japan’s Chiba University and Bangkok’s Asian Institute of Technology to document and analyze the tsunami damage. In Thailand, more than 5,300 people were killed, important tourist destinations were devastated, and the shrimp industry suffered US$500 million in damage.

The team deployed ImageCat’s custom-built Visualizing Impacts of Earthquakes with Satellites (VIEWS), a portable notebook-based reconnaissance system that links high-resolution QuickBird imagery, digital photographs and digital video footage to a real-time GPS feed. The team used 60-centimeter QuickBird imagery collected over Patong Beach in Phuket on Jan. 2, 2005, and for comparison purposes, imagery collected in March 2002.

VIEWS is operated with a digital video recorder and digital camera from either a moving vehicle or on-foot, and produces a permanent visual record of damage.

"QuickBird imagery helped identify key landmarks so that we could orient ourselves and navigate the area," said ImageCat’s Shubharoop Ghosh, transportation systems analyst, who joined Japan’s Professor Fumio Yamazaki and Thailand’s Dr. Pennung Warnitchai on the expedition. "By essentially freezing events in time, VIEWS and the imagery helped us reconstruct the site after we returned to our home offices," Ghosh added.

A field report detailing ImageCat’s findings is located at:

ImageCat has used QuickBird imagery and the MCEER-funded VIEWS extensively for evaluating disasters, including the Oct. 2004 earthquake in Niigata, Japan; Florida’s Aug. 2004 Hurricane Charley and Sept. 2004 Hurricane Ivan; and the Dec. 2003 Bam, Iran earthquake.

About ImageCat, Inc.
ImageCat, Inc. is a Long Beach, Calif.-based risk management innovation company, whose mission is to support the global risk and disaster management needs of today, using the technologies of tomorrow. The company is highly regarded for its cutting-edge research, with the remote sensing division focusing on designing tools that better quantify the built environment, together with the risks and impacts associated with terrorist attacks, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other disasters. More information can be found at

About DigitalGlobe
Longmont, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe ( is the clear leader in the global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information market. The company’s technical superiority and innovation, unparalleled commitment to customer service, extensive business partner network and open systems philosophy make DigitalGlobe the preferred supplier of imagery products. DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird satellite is the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging satellite, and the company will launch its next-generation WorldView no later than 2006. The company’s updated and growing ImageLibrary contains over one hundred million square kilometers of global imagery for countless mapping and planning needs.