Vecmap tracks the Asian bush mosquito

Mosquito bite
16 August 2012

Under the watchful eye of ESA’s Vecmap initiative, the Asian bush mosquito is about to get bitten in Belgium. First observed in Belgium in 2002, the Asian bush mosquito can spread viruses such as Chikungunya, Dengue, and West Nile.

Vecmap tests the accurate mapping of mosquitoes in Europe and in particular, mosquitoes carrying diseases.

Diseases carried by mosquitoes or ticks are an increasing public health concern in Europe. However, predicting where mosquitoes will flourish and spread infections is difficult. The conditions, location and timing of mosquito hatching vary widely between species.

Vecmap provides a one-shop-stop that simplifies the entire mosquito mapping process by defining key habitats based on field data and delivers risk maps for a wide range of users.

It consists of both software and supporting services, combining inputs from measurements taken during field work as well as data from Earth observation satellites. Data such as vegetation type, land temperature and soil moisture are used.

Field measurements are entered by inspectors into a smart phone, which pinpoints their location using satnav. Data is then transferred to a central database.

Depending on the user's needs, a variety of graphs and interactive research can be made through this database.

Avia-GIS was asked to coordinate a programme to eradicate the Asian bush mosquito from Belgium after authorities reviewed a risk assessment made by the Scientific Institute of Public Health with experts from Belguim´s Modirisk project.

Avia-GIS is working with ESA to develop Vecmap and will be using the system for the surveying requirements of the Belgian eradication programme.

Mosquitoes will continue to be tracked until the end of the season and the project may continue in March 2013.

For more information see the links in the column to the right.

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