Skip to main content

Monitoring Border Conflicts with Satellite Imagery: A Handbook for Practitioners

Cross-border conflicts can often be difficult to predict. Even in cases where the countries involved share a well-known and long running dispute, for a variety of reasons conflicts may appear to observers to have escalated with little or no warning. There are many explanations for observers’ inability to discern the warning signs of an impending conflict. For example, the areas in which such conflicts first erupt are often remote, present bureaucratic or administrative obstacles, or have an unstable internal security situation. This document is designed for human rights and humanitarian actors to provide essential information regarding the possibilities of using remote sensing technology to predict border conflicts. The handbook will provide understanding of the capabilities of the technology in documenting border conflicts and provides details concerning the amount of resources this analysis requires, in terms of time, staff expertise, software, and data costs. This work formed part of a project on studying border conflict made possible by a grant from the United States Institute of Peace. Read more at

Download the Report