Working in partnership with Associazione Ithaca, the Piedmont regional council is launching an emergency mapping service to facilitate operations aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday 6 April, the Piedmont regional council’s Civil Protection Department launched Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS), an emergency mapping service intended to facilitate operations aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The task of generating the data has been assigned to Associazione Ithaca, a subsidiary body of the Polytechnic University of Turin and FCSP, which provides the service within the framework of an international consortium coordinated by E-geos, a geo-information company.
The Civil Protection Department launched the service at the request of the regional authorities, to test the possibility of using very high-resolution (30-50cm) satellite data as a source for producing enhanced information about the Turin area, with a view to mapping two types of features: all temporary healthcare facilities erected right up to the present moment and all locations where people are likely to gather in significant numbers (district markets, supermarket and shopping centre forecourts, public parks, public gathering places, transport terminals, urban public transport stops, etc.). The collected data provides rapid access to up-to-date geo-referenced information that can be used as a basis for the future operational management of public spaces and new facilities, in preparation for modulating the flows of people as necessary in the coming months to ensure a gradual return to normality.
As Stefano Corgnati, President of Ithaca, explains: “Our association is a technological centre of excellence and a prime example of the fertile partnership between the Polytechnic University of Turin and FCSP. We are committed to providing operational support for the Piedmont regional council and other territorial bodies, and the non-stop, 24/7 work we have carried out as part of the Copernicus EMS service over the past 8 years bears witness to this.”
Piero Boccardo, Director of Ithaca, adds: “Now that the Civil Protection Department has launched the service, preparations are under way for the production of emergency mapping. This is the first time, worldwide, that the Copernicus EMS service has been deployed in response to the COVID-19 emergency, and it is a useful example of the kind of large-scale acquisition of satellite data that will play a key role in managing the situation at a national and European level in the months to come.”