Services & Projects

Rapid Mapping

The Rapid Mapping service is the core of our work over the last 10 years, and best represents the spirit with which Ithaca was born in 2007: to intervene in support of emergencies, worldwide, by processing data obtained from Earth observation satellites.

The service's description

The service consists of the provision – on demand and within few hours – of geospatial information to support emergency management activities immediately after an impactful event: natural, human caused or humanitarian crises. The service is based on the rapid acquisition, processing and analysis of satellite images connected with other geospatial raster and vector data sources. The main triggers are volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, oil spills, wildfires and humanitarian crises.

We provide pre-event baseline and post-event damage assessment maps based on satellite imagery to support civil protection and humanitarian aid authorities in their tasks related to emergency response.

Four types of map products can be identified:


Pre-emergency land and asset analysis

First Estimate

Rapid assessment of damage and most affected locations


Assessment of the impact of the event, its area of interest and its evolution monitoring. Affected population estimation.


Evaluation of the damage degree for critical buildings, infrastructure and services, its spatial distribution and extent, with the highest possible level of accuracy. Affected population estimation.

The European Rapid Mapping service is coordinated by the ERCC – Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission, which directly receives requests from local Civil Protection agencies, humanitarian aid and international organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank or other NGOs.

The request is then managed by the JRC – Joint Research Centre and coordinated at every operational stage. The results of the near-real-time service are published on the Copernicus website, managed directly by the European Commission, and are made publicly available in accordance with the Copernicus policy on free and open data.