February 12, 2009 -- MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has chosen East View Cartographic as the key map provider for its Desert Locust early warning system. The system, with its geographic focus on northern Africa, the Near East and Asia, tracks environmental conditions and locust infestations so that early actions can be taken to prevent plagues from developing.
The Desert Locust is the most feared of all locust and grasshopper species because of its ability to increase rapidly under optimal conditions, form swarms and to migrate long distances. For example, swarms crossed the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to the Caribbean in 1988. It is common for swarms to migrate from the Near East to Northwest Africa. In 2003 to 2005, numerous swarms invaded the Sahelian countries of West Africa, including Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Senegal, with devastating effects on crops, fruit trees, and vegetation. More recently, swarms invaded Kenya for the first time in 50 years.
EVC was able to provide expansive source data, in-house GIS production services and critical georeferenced area coverage and metadata. Keith Cressman, FAO Senior Locust Forecaster, says, “These data help to analyze environmental conditions and locust populations in order to predict the scale, timing and location of breeding and migration. In turn, these forecasts and warnings help affected countries to plan survey and control operations, and alert the international community to assist.” The most up-to-date information on the Desert Locust situation is available on the FAO Locust Watch website: www.fao.org/ag/locusts.
Kent Lee, President of EVC says, “We are more than pleased to be part of this great humanitarian effort by the FAO. Some of the key data provided for the Desert Locust early warning system include thousands of georeferenced raster topographic maps at many scales and TerraColor LandSat imagery mosaic. EVC also provided 90m SRTM Digital Elevation Model for the entire area, as a value-added void-filled product. Our vast holding of worldwide topographic maps and our expert GIS capabilities to deliver them as georeferenced raster imagery made it possible for us to meet the needs of this critical project.”
East View Cartographic (EVC) is the leading provider of authoritative global geospatial data, including vector data, DEMs, satellite imagery, topographic maps, nautical charts, and geological maps. With its unparalleled acquisition capabilities, EVC has built an extensive corporate library of over 250,000 maps, 30 terabytes of digital geospatial data, and 10 million GIS-based records. The company also offers a wide array of related services, including on-demand mapping and GIS data production. Customers include governments, GIS companies, academic researchers, and engineering firms. Details can be found at www.cartographic.com.
East View Cartographic, Inc.
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