At the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, President Obama announced on Sept 23, 2014, a new set of tools to harness the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States to help vulnerable populations around the world strengthen their climate resilience. The United States also announced its leadership and participation in more than a dozen new climate change partnerships launched at the Climate Summit.
The tools for global resilience announced by the President include improved and extended extreme weather risk outlooks to help avoid loss of life and property; data, tools and services to enable countries to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, including a new release of global elevation data (discussed below); and an announcement of a new public-private partnership to ensure that the climate data, tools, and products made available by U.S. technical agencies are useful to developing countries.

To empower local authorities to better plan for the impacts of severe environmental changes such as drought, glacial retreat, flooding, landslides, coastal storm surges, agricultural stresses, and challenges concerning public health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (NGA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of an ongoing commitment to open data and international data sharing through the inter-governmental Group on Earth Observations, will release a collection of higher-resolution elevation datasets for Africa.
Datasets covering other global regions will be made available within one year, with the next release of data providing more accurate elevation information for Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Until now, elevation data for Africa were freely and publicly available only at 90-meter resolution. The datasets being released today, and during the course of the next year—which are based on data collected by sensors designed by an international partnership and carried on the U.S. Space Shuttle—resolve to 30-meters (a nine-fold improvement) and will be used worldwide to improve environmental monitoring, climate change research including sea-level rise impact assessments, and local decision support. These datasets are being made available via a user-friendly interface on USGS’s Earth Explorer website. With a commitment from the Secure World Foundation, and in collaboration with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, USGS, NOAA, and NASA plan to offer online training and regional workshops to further enable users to take advantage of these data resources.
More (background) information can be found at Alana Simpson’s (World Bank) blog.
Coincidentally on the same day, UN announced that On the occasion of the upcoming UN climate change summit, Chinese government donates the GlobeLand30 datasets to the United Nations.

About fjbehr

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Behr, Professor of Geoinformatics at Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (http://www.gis-management.de/). His specializations include * Internet, Internet GIS * XML, GML, SVG * Data exchange and Interoperability * Visualization * Open Source Solutions * Consulting Member of the DIN working group NA 005-03-03 AA "Arbeitsausschuss Kartographie und Geoinformation" (Sp CEN/TC 287+ISO/TC 211). He is the author of two authoritative books on GIS in German, one is "Strategisches GIS-Management", published by Wichmann Verlag (2004). The second is "Einführung in Geographische Informationssysteme" (1997).

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