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PBS NewsHour Profiles Satellite Sentinel Project

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PBS NewsHour Profiles Satellite Sentinel Project

Posted by Laura Heaton on March 18, 2011

In a segment on PBS NewsHour last night, Tom Bearden reported on the Satellite Sentinel Project’s use of imagery from space to track and document the deliberate razing of villages in the Abyei region of Sudan.

PBS NewsHour visited DigitalGlobe's satellite control room and analysis center in Colorado and sat down with the Enough Project’s Jonathan Hutson to discuss the significance of having private satellite companies monitor violence in Sudan in real-time. Hutson explained:

We’re not telling the president of the United States something that he doesn’t already know. We’re not telling leaders of other nations something they don’t already know through their own satellites.  What’s new and transformative here is that we can share high-resolution, commercial imagery from DigitalGlobe so that you can see the same information that lands on the president’s desk during his daily Sudan briefings.

Juxtaposed with imagery from uprisings across the Middle East, Bearden emphasized the impact that new tools promoting transparency – like commercial satellite images, supplemented with reporting from the ground and shared through social media – are having on public opinion.