This paper presents a novel approach to integrate the latest generation very high-resolution earth observation imagery into the operational workflow of geospatial information support for emergency response actions. The core concept behind this approach is the implementation of an image pyramid structure that allows each image tile to be addressed separately. We propose a novel way to collate geospatial feature data from distributed sources and integrate them in visualization and image processing. The system components enable rapid collaborative mapping, support for insitu data collection, customized on-demand image processing, and geospatial data queries and near instantaneous map visualization. We adapt functional software modules that are available in the public and open source domain. The approach is demonstrated with a test case in a rapid damage assessment scenario using very high-resolution optical satellite QuickBird and IKONOS imagery over Southern Lebanon from 2006.