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Posted on April 7th, 2015

FirstLook Crisis Event – Forest Fire Rages in Valparaiso, Chile

A before image of the area near the University of Vina del Mar and adjacent local airport in Vina del Mar, Chile imaged on April 20, 2014 by the 60-cm color satellite, QuickBird. (Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe)
An after image of the area near the University of Vina del Mar and adjacent local airport in Vina del Mar, Chile shows the close proximity to which the fire had burned to these structures. Photo imaged on March 19, 2015 by the 50-cm color satellite, WorldView-2. (Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe)

Timing is everything when it comes to a crisis, whether it’s local or global; and fast, reliable, high-resolution imagery is an important part of the puzzle as is offered in the FirstLook Crisis Event service. Since looking at the post-event imagery only goes so far, FirstLook adds pre-event imagery to help with the before and after analysis.

What’s makes an event worthy of collecting imagery? Great question. Events can range in type from natural disasters to human-made events, and from political unrest to human interests.

How do I access the imagery? Another great question. You access the imagery several ways, including: My DigitalGlobe (a password protected web viewer), Web Map Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS), EarthService or via an OGC-compliant software plug-in.

The photos below demonstrate the before and after damage of a raging forest fire in Chile threatening the port cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. A state of emergency has been declared after 4,500 people were evacuated and 10,000 more are pending evacuation.

Estimates suggest 1,000 acres of land have been affected by the fire. Unfortunately the city of Valparaiso is recovering from a fire last April where nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed.

FirstLook Product Specifications

  • Data Sources: WorldView-2, GeoEye-1 and WorldView-1
  • Resolution:  50-cm
  • Imagery Band Combinations Offered: panchromatic, natural color and NIR (for fire events)
  • Access:  OGC streaming services (i.e. WMS, WMST, WCS and WFS), Google Earth streaming services (i.e. EarthService), ArcGIS plugin (i.e. ImageConnect), online portal (i.e.
  • Geographic Subscriptions Offered:  global, regional or per event
  • Event Collection Durations: 15 days or 30 days
  • Subscription Term:  annual

To find out which subscription option is best for you and to schedule a demo of the service, please feel free to reach out to me directly at

Robert O’Munneke
Chief of Sales
(703) 304-6425

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