Thursday, June 07, 2007

Amnesty International Launches Eyes On Darfur: Satellite Cameras Allows Public to Monitor Villages

No one likes to feel like they are being watched, especially if they are doing something wrong.

Amnesty International is asking its supporters to monitor 12 villages in Darfur via satellite that they have deemed "vulnerable" to attack on its new site, Eyes on Darfur. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) provided expertise on satellite imagery and other geospatial technologies. You can see satellite images of the 12 villages and read a report about each area in the Villages at Risk section.

According to their press release:

[N]ew images of the same villages are being added currently within days of each other. This time frame offers the potential for spotting new destruction. Amnesty International worked with noted researchers to identify vulnerable areas based on proximity to important resources like water supplies, threats by militias or nearby attacks.

The most compelling part for me is the Satellite Evidence section where you can click back and forth between before and after satellite images of villages that have already been attacked, like the photo above of Angabo before the attack, and this image from after the attack:

The site also supplies more information about the situation in Darfur, and a petition to sign asking President Bush to work with world leaders to:

* Set a timeline and benchmarks for the deployment of the African Union/UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.
* Protect displaced civilians in neighboring eastern Chad and support a UN presence there.
* Ensure sufficient support for African Union and UN peacekeepers to protect civilians and stabilize the region.

Like the Jane Goodall Institute's geoblog, hopefully satellite imagery will help potential supporters feel more connected to an issue that is so atrocious it can seem unreal.

*This post was originally written for

Images used with permission from Amnesty International.
TOP: Angabo, Darfur. Image date: 21-Jun-06. Copyright DigitalGlobe. All Rights Reserved.
Angabo, Darfur. Image date: 15-Feb-07. Copyright GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Wow, that is amazing, if this doesn't wake people up.. nothing will. No longer can people claim ignorance.

  2. Anonymous4:42 PM

    It's wonderful that people are working so hard to help others... but am I the only one who finds the Eyes on Darfur project slightly hipocritical? Not that long ago, human rights groups were concerned by the invasion of privacy that intense surveillance creates, and now we want to turn that surveillance on other people?


If you are having trouble commenting, please let me know.