Mapping storm damageThe storms that left a trail of destruction through France in December 1999 took a devastating human and economic toll. Following initial emergency response, maps and statistical data had to be produced rapidly to assess the extent of the damage. To this end, large volumes of Earth observation data including SPOT imagery and aerial photographs were combined with field surveys. Simulated SPOT 5 imagery was also analyzed to gauge its ability to aid damage mapping.
Complementing Conventional Survey Methods
Local-scale damage mapping of small parcels of forest currently relies on analysis of aerial photographs at 1:30 000 and on field surveys by ONF, the French national forestry service, or by private contractors. Remote sensing data speeds up assessment, which can be very time-consuming where storm damage is spread over a vast area. SPOT 5's capacity to acquire timely, accurate and reliable geographic information covering large tracts of forest is therefore a precious aid.
Haguenau forest (Alsace, north-east France)
Haguenau forest is France's second largest plain forest, covering 13,472 hectares. It is some 30 kilometres north of Strasbourg, stretching 30 kilometres east to west across the Alsace plain and 10 kilometres north to south.