Airbus Releases Satellite Imagery of Nepal Earthquake

April 28, 2015  - By

Following Nepal’s devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Saturday, Airbus Defence and Space has acquired Pléiades satellites imagery to support the International Charter and Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The data acquired will assist in assessing the damage and help rescue organizations in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The before and after Pléiades images over Kathmandu (full image can be downloaded here) show the devastation caused by the earthquake. The below “before” Pléiades image was acquired on Nov. 29, 2014, and the “after” Pléiades image was acquired on April 27, 2015, two days after the earthquake.

Kathmandu, viewed by Pléiades satellites, before and after the earthquake. (Image: Airbus Defence & Space)

Kathmandu, viewed by Pléiades satellites, before and after the earthquake. (Image: Airbus Defence and Space)

The Airbus Pléiades 1A and Pléiades 1B satellites operate as a constellation in the same orbit, phased 180 degrees apart. The identical twin satellites deliver high-resolution optical data products and can revisit any point on the globe, according to Airbus.


Esri has created a Nepal Earthquake Swipe Map, which allows users to compare the pre- and post-earthquake images from Airbus Defence & Space to explore damage around Nepal. This map includes several bookmarks to help users navigate around key points of interest and landmarks that were damaged or destroyed.


About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.