Kathryn Cramer, who became well known in the Google Earth community for her efforts surrounding Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, has also been working on the Pakistan Earthquake relief efforts. Kathryn has a well-written blog where she helps by providing an international information resource. She in particular has been working with the Global Connection Project (a team of folks from Google, NASA, Carnegie-Mellon University, and some other Universities as well) to try and help get better satellite photos available to relief workers.
Kathryn has announced that an initial set of high-resolution Google Earth image overlays for the earthquake areas has been released by the Global Connection Project. She has included screen shots as well.
By the way, the Pakistan earthquake disaster has been compared to last year’s tsunami in southeast asia. Over 79,000 are officially known to be dead, and higher death tolls are expected. And, winter is coming. Many structures have been destroyed and shelter may be a serious problem in the area. (Note: Kathryn’s announcement came to my attention via OgleEarth)
Believe it or not, for a brief while, the UN removed all satellite photos after Pakistan officials warned about the political sensitivity of the area. You can read about this in a recent Nature magazine article. Fortunately, sanity prevailed and they are now allowing the photos. Considering the remote areas where the Earthquakes have hit (and are still hitting, there was a 6.0 Earthquake just on Sunday in the area), these photos are critical to help relief workers determine where roads are damaged and where populations exist which might need aid.