How we verify fire claims
On 29 August 2022, SGG News reported a fire in Taung Myo village, Sagaing.
The disturbing images led MW investigators to try to verify the report, starting with geolocating the footage.
After initial assessment, it was possible to determine that several images showed the same location but were taken from a different angle.
When different images contain overlapping information, that can be a good place to start the geolocation work.
Investigators often rely on satellite imagery for geolocation.
Analysis of the roofs and roads in the images can yield valuable information. Roof aspects (size, colour, shape) can be compared with road layout to make a unique pattern MW can then look for in satellite imagery.
These images show a few key details.
A destroyed red-roofed building can be seen in both of the images below, showing a partially-burnt, blue-roofed building to the left. There are burnt structures in front of the buildings and a split in the road next to them.
Looking for this set of details in satellite imagery of the village, it is possible to see a similar pattern at the center of the village. (22.081291, 95.666769).
Marking the similarities between ground photos and satellite imagery is vital in proving a geolocation claim.
The red-roofed building is marked with red, the blue roofed building is marked with blue and the road-split is marked in purple.
MW must compare multiple details from the ground images to make sure they match the satellite imagery.
The layout / roofs of the 2 buildings behind the red-roofed building appear to match (orange box).
The building to the left of the fork in the road (blue box) also matches.
Using another image, it is possible to see a uniquely-shaped blue roof in the back (marked green) and a big tree to its left (grey green).
Both of them are visible in the satellite imagery too.
The same process can be used to try to geolocate further images from Taung Myo village or other incidents across Myanmar.
Myanmar Witness geolocated several images from Taung Myo village, showing damage to more than 20 structures.
Some of these buildings were partially destroyed, others were burned to ashes.
To request an invite to the next Myanmar Witness OSINT skills training session with an introduction to geolocation, please email
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