The French National Space Center (CNES) Relies on ERDAS Enterprise Solutions

Norcross (Georgia, USA) – The International Charter Space and Major Disasters recently held its Board Meeting in Toulouse, France, opening the French National Space Center (CNES)’s presidency for the next six months. During this meeting, the CNES presented the catalog for the International Charter’s imagery resources. This catalog is powered by ERDAS’ enterprise solutions.

The International Charter gathers ten space agencies from all over the world, including USGS (USA), ESA (Europe), JAXA (Japan), CNSA (China) and ISRO (India). In case of natural or man-made disaster, a unified system enables acquisition of space data resources from all Charter members, providing emergency and rescue services with the accurate and up-to-date information on the impacted area. In 2008, the Charter was activated over 30 times, delivering information to regions affected by cyclones, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or fires.

When the Charter is activated, its members order images to their respective satellites. For maximum efficiency, authorities trying to mitigate the human and material effects of the ongoing disaster must quickly identify, find and use the most relevant resources for their particular need. Therefore, a unique centralized catalog describing all the available space imagery of the impacted area is critical at the time of a disaster. Moreover, months or years after the emergency period, reconstruction and repair may also need to access imagery of the damaged area, searching the Charter’s catalog for the most appropriate information resources.

The Charter catalog is in the continuity of the CNES and ERDAS achievements for the Heterogeneous Missions Accessibility (HMA) project, which defines the architecture and interoperability standards for harmonized data access across the ground segments of the European and Canadian missions. HMA-compliant, the Charter catalog dramatically extends the array of ground segments participating in a unique catalog, demonstrating the operational efficiency of the HMA model.

In addition, the Charter’s catalog has also been proposed to the Group on Earth Observation, in response to the recent call for participation to build a Community Catalog for hurricane data. This critical catalog component of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) will allow decision-makers to retrieve and access all relevant earth observation resources when reacting to floods due to hurricanes.

“A major supplier of satellite imagery, the CNES is very conscious of the value that lies in precise and up-to-date views of an area impacted by a disaster. Human lives and essential infrastructure are at stake. However, without an efficient search and retrieval tool supported by a solid metadata structure, the risk is high to see this powerful imagery underused or even misused”, said André Husson, Director of Program Strategy / Earth Observation, CNES. “With the catalog designed for the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, every country is better equipped for a quick and targeted reaction to the disasters affecting them.”

“Committed to open standards-based interoperability, ERDAS believes that a big part of geospatial data’s value lies in its usability and accessibility. The International Charter Space and Major Disaster bring the operational confirmation that OGC standards effectively solve complex interoperability challenges”, said Thomas Bayer, Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa, ERDAS. “Our vision is to be supported by major international and non-profit endeavors aiming to collectively enable the nations to exploit the best geospatial resources for reacting to disasters and protecting their environment.”

For more information about the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, please visit For more information about the CNES, please visit For more information on ERDAS go to or call + 1 877 GO ERDAS.


ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process, and share that information from anywhere.

Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams.

ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit .

Media Contact:
Jason Sims
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Author: EARSC

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