A damaged building has more smaller parts than an undamaged building. This fact forms the basis for determining which structures have survived an earthquake and which have crumbled, using satellite images. Emergency services need this information to coordinate aid, set up emergency hospitals and rescue as many survivors as possible. Collapsed structures are marked by hand on digital images. Michael Wilkinson is head university teacher at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, where they developed an automated way of detecting debris. Using parallel algorithms, multiple processors and morphological filters, calculation time for an area the size of Haiti has been reduced from 34.000 years to 1 hour and 22 minutes.
(rest of the article is in Dutch)