Six months ago, the world watched in horror as Russia launched airstrikes on Ukraine.

Within hours, Hidenori Watanave, a professor of information design at the University of Tokyo, saw on Twitter an aerial shot of a site that had been attacked — the Chuhuiv air base in eastern Ukraine. The image was posted by another Japanese researcher, Taichi Furuhashi, accompanied by the message: “I have geo-referenced on Google Earth two images shot on Feb. 24 and released by (U.S. satellite imaging firm) Planet.”

Watanave immediately responded. He took one of the images and geographical data for the air base posted by Furuhashi, a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University whom he knew well from a previous research collaboration, and published them on Cesium, a digital earth platform. This marked the beginning of their joint project — Satellite Images Map of Ukraine — which is ongoing.