News Releases

EVC Provides Key Map and GIS Data for UN Food and Agriculture Organization Project

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, USA – February 11, 2009 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has chosen East View Cartographic as the key map provider for its Desert Locust early warning system. The system, with its geographic focus on northern Africa, the Near East and Asia, tracks environmental conditions and locust infestations so that early actions can be taken to prevent plagues from developing.

The Desert Locust is the most feared of all locust and grasshopper species because of its ability to increase rapidly under optimal conditions, form swarms and to migrate long distances. For example, swarms crossed the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to the Caribbean in 1988. It is common for swarms to migrate from the Near East to Northwest Africa. In 2003 to 2005, numerous swarms invaded the Sahelian countries of West Africa, including Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Senegal, with devastating effects on crops, fruit trees, and vegetation. More recently, swarms invaded Kenya for the first time in 50 years.

EVC was able to provide expansive source data, in-house GIS production services and critical georeferenced area coverage and metadata. Keith Cressman, FAO Senior Locust Forecaster, says, “These data help to analyze environmental conditions and locust populations in order to predict the scale, timing and location of breeding and migration. In turn, these forecasts and warnings help affected countries to plan survey and control operations, and alert the international community to assist.” The most up-to-date information on the Desert Locust situation is available on the FAO Locust Watch website:

Kent Lee, President of EVC says, “We are more than pleased to be part of this great humanitarian effort by the FAO. Some of the key data provided for the Desert Locust early warning system include thousands of georeferenced raster topographic maps at many scales and TerraColor LandSat imagery mosaic. EVC also provided 90m SRTM Digital Elevation Model for the entire area, as a value-added void-filled product. Our vast holding of worldwide topographic maps and our expert GIS capabilities to deliver them as georeferenced raster imagery made it possible for us to meet the needs of this critical project.”

About East View

East View was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. East View is comprised of East View Information Services (, East View Geospatial ( and East View Map Link ( East View maintains thousands of supplier/publisher relationships throughout the world for maps and geospatial data and Russian, Arabic and Chinese-produced social and hard science content. East View manages a data center, library and warehouse in Minneapolis where it hosts and stores dozens of foreign language databases, hundreds of thousands of maps and atlases and millions of geospatial, Russian, Chinese and Arabic metadata records. Uncommon Information. Extraordinary Places. East View.