Open Data Program

The insight you need, when you need it, anywhere in the world

Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai first made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday, March 14, 2019, affecting thousands of people across the country and neighboring Malawi. The Ngangu Township in Chimanimani and the Rusitu Valley communities were the hardest hit. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the impact is yet to be established, however reports indicate loss of life and significant damage, with extreme flooding causing loss of roads, homes and infrastructure. Officials estimate the severe flooding will impact 1.5 million people in Mozambique and Malawi, with more than 150 people reportedly killed and hundreds more missing.

For this Open Data Program activation, DigitalGlobe provided pre- and post-event WorldView optical imagery, MDA RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar imagery, and Ecopia Building Footprints powered by DigitalGlobe, which are high-precision, GIS-ready building footprints created using’s proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms combined with DigitalGlobe’s current, high-resolution commercial satellite imagery, resulting in a greater than 95% accuracy rating, a uniquely high percentage in the industry. In this Building Footprints dataset, each building is represented by a center point, creating a map of infrastructure that was built before Cyclone Idai made landfall.

Analysis-Ready Data (ARD)

Analysis-Ready Data (ARD) is Maxar's subscription service providing users access to time-series stacks of imagery with specific preprocessing (atmospheric compensation, radiometric correction, orthorectification and alignment) to minimize the work and time required to derive answers from pixels. Learn more about ARD here.

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OpenStreetMap Exception

In the licensing terms, DigitalGlobe has a stated exception for OpenStreetMap. OSM is allowed to use imagery released under the Open Data Program. Even though OSM enables commercial usage, OSM is a critical platform for the disaster response community. Allowing usage of our imagery in OSM will enable faster data access by local communities as well as global relief efforts.