flooding in australia nasa goddard space flight center postThis project is a joint initiative between CRCSI, Geoscience Australia and the Space Policy Unit. Its objective was to review how spatial information products (specifically those derived from airborne and satellite borne imaging systems) were used in response to the 2011 floods, the 2009 Victorian bushfires and recent earthquake events in NZ, and to make recommendations regarding how the availability and usability of such information can be improved in the future.

The project ran from April to August 2011.


The project comprised three activities.

1. Case study

Through a series of one-on-one interviews, this component of the project reviewed and documented the experience of various agencies and individuals involved in the provision of spatial information products during recent natural disasters in Australia and New Zealand.

2. Consultation

The consultation process engaged with organisations that used spatial information in flood, bushfire and earthquake situations from an emergency services and incident management perspective. The objective was to understand the spatial information requirements of these groups and to identify ways of better meeting their future needs.

3. Trial of MAPS

The Mobile Acquisition and Processing System (MAPS) is a technology that has been temporarily brought into Australia by LPI (NSW). It allows for the local acquisition and processing of X-band RADAR data from the four Italian Cosmo SkyMed satellites. Cosmo SkyMed data was used during the 2011 floods, but there was a 7-hour delay in accessing the data. The objective of the trial was to investigate the time saved by having a local capability for downloading and processing and to draw conclusions as to how this would benefit the provision of derived spatial information products in future disaster situations.


The project documented lessons from the experiences of the providers and users of spatial information products during the 2011 floods in eastern Australia, the 2009 Victorian bushfires and earthquakes in New Zealand.

It provided recommendations about how to generate and supply appropriate spatial information products more efficiently and effectively in the future.

Qld Police case studyCASE STUDY

This case study report was prepared by Queensland Police Service about social media response and practices during the floods and cyclones that struck Queensland in late 2010 and early 2011.