The purpose of the Network is to supply timely and reliable tactical information requested by established humanitarian organizations in the immediate aftermath of major disasters, through distributed analysis of satellite imagery (including imagery from Planet Labs).
It was utilised for the 2016 Ecuador Earthquake, where over 2000 volunteers helped analyse almost 25,000 square kilometres of satellite imagery in only 12 hours, and again for the 2017 Caribbean storms.
This project was focused on enhancement and integration of IIASA's Picture Pile and HOT's MapSwipe platforms. Picture Pile is a microtasking application which supports humanitarian efforts through rapid assessment and classification of satellite imagery. To test opportunities and workflow for Picture Pile, it was utilised for Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and involved volunteers swiping through imagery detecting damaged buildings over a large region, by answering a simple yes or no question.
Picture Pile is intended to supplement existing approaches for post-disaster damage assessment and can be used by different networks of volunteers to assess damage and help prioritize areas for rapid creation of up-to-date maps of large regions affected by disasters.