Revolutionary Disaster Mapping Tool wins International Sustainability Award

Revolutionary Disaster Mapping Tool wins International Sustainability Award
Spatial mapping shows areas damaged by Cyclone Winston right across the Fijian Islands in 2016

The first 24 to 72 hours after a disaster are the most crucial, but it isn’t just how much time you have to assess damage - it’s also how you assess it.

Developed as part of the response to the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence - a series of major earthquakes that hit Christchurch and surrounding areas over an 18 month period between 2010-2011 - Tonkin + Taylor's Rapid Damage Mapping tool (RDM) uses LiDAR, satellite images, and other Earth observational data, to gather integrated initial damage mapping information within that first post-disaster period, which is fundamental in aiding an efficient, effective disaster response and recovery.

It’s also key in informing humanitarian response like with the case of Tropical Cyclone Gita in Tonga, where RDM information helped direct aid to ensure that all people and communities affected gained access to food, healthcare, water, and other important utilities as quickly as possible.  

We’re thrilled to share that T+T, along with the CODATA Task Group on FAIR Data for Disaster Risk Research, has won a 2020 GEO SDG Award in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 for our work on the Rapid Damage Mapping tool.

Along with the disaster response to the Kaikōura Earthquake in New Zealand and Cyclone Gita in Tonga, RDM mapping has supported recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji, Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique, and the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.

It's been a collaborative effort in developing this truly lifesaving tool and we’d like to thank the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Council for International Development (CID), CODATA, ChinaGEOSS, RADI and DFAT Australia and MFAT NZ for their support.