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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 24, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2010

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Volume 24, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2010

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Expanding Role of Remote Sensing Highlighted at 8th International Workshop

Over 30 participants from nine countries attended the
8th International Workshop on Remote Sensing for
Disaster Management.

The 8th International Workshop on Remote Sensing for Disaster Management was one of the most diverse workshops to date in this series. Over 30 participants from nine different countries delivered 28 presentations on a broad set of topics dealing with recent worldwide earthquakes, tsunami effects, earthquake effects, hurricane effects, damage detection methodologies, building inventory development, and new and emerging technologies for disaster response. In addition, because of the devastating effects caused by two recent earthquakes – in Haiti and Chile – three special sessions were organized to learn from these events. A common conclusion from the discussions is that the role of remote sensing has expanded significantly in the last several years, and in fact, recent events have clearly defined a new direction and paradigm for post-disaster damage assessment.

A highlight of the workshop was an invited presentation by Professor Masanobu Shinozuka of the University of California at Irvine on “Remote Sensing for Spatially-Distributed System Modeling and Calibration.” He discussed the importance of evaluating the vulnerability of critical services by examining them as systems, i.e., an interconnected network of components. He also encouraged the group to view another paradigm of damage assessment where sensors on structures are used to collect post-earthquake data that is telemetrically sent back to a central site for analysis. This approach is likely to provide more detailed and accurate information on facility performance that can be correlated with other datasets, e.g., remotely-sensed assessments.

Another highlight of the workshop was an invited presentation by Dr. Makoto Kawai from the Satellite Applications and Promotion Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Dr. Kawai discussed an initiative called Sentinel Asia which was established in 2005 as an international collaboration between space and disaster management agencies to apply remote sensing and Web-GIS to assist disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region.

To help focus discussions on the future direction of remote sensing in disaster management, a special panel session that included worldwide remote sensing experts (Fumio Yamazaki, Dept. of Urban Environment Systems, Chiba University, Japan; Fabio Dell’acqua, EUCENTRE, University of Pavia, Italy; Chris S. Renschler, MCEER & LESAM, University at Buffalo, USA; and Norman Kerle, ITC, Twente University, The Netherlands) was organized.

Sponsored by the Global COE Program "International Urban Earthquake Engineering Center for Mitigating Seismic Mega Risk" at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), MCEER and ImageCat, Inc., the workshop was held at the Campus Innovation Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, on September 30 - October 1, 2010. Proceedings are available at

Next year’s workshop, the 9th International Workshop on Remote Sensing for Disaster Management, will be held at Stanford University on September 15-16, 2011. For more details, contact either , ImageCat, Inc.; or , Stanford University.