Aim: This article documents the development and initial use case of the GRID (Ground Reporting through Imagery Delivery) methodology by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). GRID was created to support corroboration of witness testimony of mass atrocity related-events using satellite imagery analysis. A repeating analytic limitation of employing imagery for this purpose is that differences in the geographic knowledge of a witness and an imagery analyst can limit or impede corroboration.
Methods: The primary method used in this article is a case study of HHI’s development and use of GRID. The GRID methodology was designed during HHI’s work with the Satellite Sentinel Project. It was deployed to corroborate reports that mass graves were being created in Sudan in the summer of 2011.
Results: The results of this specific case study are examined, step-by-step guidelines for using GRID are provided, and possible areas for further research are discussed.
This case demonstrates that the GRID methodology facilitates corroboration when differences exist between the local geographic knowledge of a witness and the more cursory geographic knowledge of an analyst.
Conclusions: The initial use of GRID warrants further research into potential applications in other regional and operational contexts. Future use cases will help advance GRID as a standardized methodology for use by different types of groups that utilize satellite imagery. Distinct research should also focus on operational, cultural, psychological, and ethical impacts of this methodology due to its involvement of the witness in the imagery analysis process.
Card, Brittany L. and Baker, Isaac L.
"GRID: A Methodology Integrating Witness Testimony and Satellite Imagery Analysis for Documenting Alleged Mass Atrocities,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol8/iss3/7