Case study in the use and application of GEO data in disaster recovery and reconstruction

  • Project Title:Case study in the use and application of GEO data in disaster recovery and reconstructionPartners
    1. BRR NAD-Nias, Spatial Information & Mapping Centre, SIM-Centre of Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstrucksi (BRR) NAD-Nias, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
    2. Remote Sensing and GIS Centre Syiah-Kuala University, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
    3. Vrije University Amsterdam-IVM, Netherlands.
    Figure: Visiting local users of EO data in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.


    1. To survey with help of local partners, use of GEO data among agencies in Banda Aceh and across the province of NAD;
    2. To determine sources of this GEO data, its quality/usefulness and areas for improvement; and
    3. To identify (perhaps quantify) value that GEO brings to relief/reconstruction effort by identifying past, present and future role and worth of this information.


    1. With the help of local partners identify users of GEO data (including use of search tools such as the RAN Database:;
    2. Develop survey (with help of Vrije University Amsterdam-IVM, Netherlands);
    3. Implement a two phase user survey. Phase 1- remote contact with GEO users (phone/email). Phase 2 - dedicated field survey with in-person contact with GEO users in Banda Aceh;
    4. Compile results;
    5. Analyze; and
    6. Report.

    Field Survey

    A field visit to Banda Aceh was carried out from 3rd - 12th December, 2007; coinciding with the 2nd International Workshop on Disaster Mitigation hosted at Syiah Kuala University. During the field survey the GEO-BENE representative visited a number of agencies including: Table 1. Organisations visited in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
    Org. Type Organisation Contact
    Nat. Gov BRR, Pusdatin Mr. E. Darajat
    Nat. Gov BRR, Bakosurtanal Mr. Darmawan
    University UNSYIAH, GIS & RS Mr. M. Affan
    University UNSYIAH, Vice Rector Mr. Dhalan
    University UNSYIAH, TDMRC Mr. Dirhamsyah
    Local Gov BPN Mr. G. Suprato
    Local Gov AGDC Mr. S. Gan
    NGO ABD - ETESP Mr. E. Van Der Zee
    NGO Sea Defence Cons. Mr. J. Kraaij
    UN UN ORC Mr. H. Busa
    UN UNICEF Mr. B. Cahyanto
    UN UNFAO Mr. Sugianto
    NGO LOGICA Mr. D. Hurst
    NGO GTZ-SLGSR Mr. M. Widodo
    NGO ManGEONAD Mr. T. Rehman
    NGO Leuser Int. Fnd. (YLI) Ms. D. R. Sari
    NGO Flora Fauna Int. (FFI) Mr. Syaifuddin
    NGO Sogreah Mr. B. Coiron


    On 26 December 2004, Banda Aceh in Indonesia was at the center of one of the worst natural disasters to affect mankind. Large amounts of international aid poured in to assist in the relief and reconstruction efforts. Amongst this effort, were investments in basic earth observation data from in-situ, airborne and space observations. While the use of this data is assumed to be crucial, few efforts have gone into quantifying the benefits of its acquisition. The objectives of this study were to interview a cross-section of agencies operating in Banda Aceh and across the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam on the use, sources and quality of earth observation data in the relief/reconstruction effort; and to analyze and quantify the value that earth observation data brings to the relief/reconstruction effort based on the survey results and specific examples. Key findings from the interviews point to an overall improvement in the spatial data situation since the tsunami. Problems identified included insufficient training, lack of timely data and sometimes poor spatial resolution. Specific examples of the cost-benefits of earth observation data were typically on the order of millions of dollars and involved large time savings.

    Specific Case Study Deliverables

    Banda Aceh-The Value of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: A Case Study, McCallum I.; Kidd, R.; Fritz, S.; Kraxner, F.; Obersteiner, M. , Number IR-08-048, Laxenburg, p.18, (2008) A follow-up report is planned for summer 2009.