ERDAS IMAGINE Utilized by AAAS to Reveal Damage in South Ossetian

Norcross, GA – Recently, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released high-resolution satellite imagery to communicate the changes in South Ossetian following the clash between Georgia, South Ossetian separatists and Russia. The satellite images, processed and classified by ERDAS IMAGINE®, reveal that 424 civilian structures near Tskhinvali were damaged by 19 August. These same structures appeared to be intact in images taken on 10 August and earlier.

The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. Founded in 1848, the AAAS fulfills its mission to advance science and serve society through initiatives in policy, international programs and education.

ERDAS IMAGINE is the world’s foremost remote sensing solution, providing tools to create, manage and analyze imagery to increase the value of your geospatial information. ERDAS IMAGINE combines remotes sensing and GIS capabilities, enabling the creation of geospatial data, extracting information and updating existing GIS data. ERDAS IMAGINE simplifies classification, orthorectification, mosaicking, reprojection and image interpretation, while maintaining the integrity of the geospatial data for updating a GIS in multiple formats, including ESRI Geodatabase and Oracle 10g.

The image analysis, completed by the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program at the request of Amnesty International USA shows a total of 626 points of destruction affecting civilians. Encompassing 1,000 square kilometers, the AAAS study examined damage to 24 villages near the city of Tskhinvali in South Ossetia, close to the Georgia-Russia border.

“Satellite images reveal significant fire damage to civilian structures in the South Ossetian region,” said Lars Bromley, Project Director, AAAS Science and Human Rights Program. "Whenever you see the interior walls of a structure, that’s very indicative because it means that the structure has no roof, first of all, and secondly, that it wasn’t an explosive that did the damage, necessarily, but probably a fire.” 

In summary, the AAAS report concludes: "Imagery analysis demonstrates initial concentrated damage to the city of Tskhinvali and small amounts of damage to outlying areas that had occurred by 10 August. By 19 August, a much broader range of destruction occurred in the village areas surrounding Tskhinvali …other significant signs of military actions were also shown to have occurred in the region, including many obvious craters from shelling, and tracks from the presumed movement of military vehicles, which resulted in clearly visible damage in the vegetated areas throughout the region."

“These processed and analyzed images provide important information on the changes in this region,” said Mladen Stojic, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Marketing, ERDAS. “This tragedy required the most advanced technology to analyze the captured images, and thereby understand the altered landscape – we are honored that AAAS used ERDAS IMAGINE for these efforts.”

The development of the conflict involving Georgia, South Ossetian separatists and Russia remains the subject of intense dispute.

ERDAS IMAGINE software has also been used by AAAS to communicate the crisis in Darfur. To read a case study on this project, please visit

For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS – The Earth to Business Company – helps organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage. ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. Welcome to ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision. Earth to business starts here. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit

About AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.