2007 July 19

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1 Spatial

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on the use of GIS for emergency response at a South Carolina school district and to analyze the correlation between drought and poverty. I also bring you a brief note, a correction, and 18 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

GIS for Emergency Response

To help protect its 20 schools and district offices and roughly 10,000 students, the Kershaw County, South Carolina, school district has installed a new crisis management system that allows access to key facility and resource information from laptop computers. Last month, school administrators and local emergency responders were trained in the use of the system, and it will be ready when students and staff return to school on August 20. "Being able to easily access all of these critical data makes us much better prepared in the time of an emergency," says Jeff Jordan, the district's Director of Emergency Preparedness. He expects the system to reduce response times and increase situational awareness.

The district received a $211,460 grant last year from the U.S. Department of Education to improve emergency preparedness and it contracted with Prepared Response, Inc. (PRI) to install the company's Rapid Responder Crisis Management System. The system allows first responders to access more than 300 pieces of data — including tactical plans, floor plans, aerial imagery, interior and exterior photos, staging areas, hazardous materials quantities and locations, utility shut-offs, and evacuation routes for all schools.

According to PRI, its Rapid Responder system is the only crisis management system to be certified by the Department of Homeland Security under the federal SAFETY Act designation. It is currently installed in more than 8,800 buildings nationwide, including 1,700 school campuses.

I discussed the system with Michael Brown, PRI's Chief Technical Officer, Carla Froome, a PRI project manager, and Jordan.

Screen shot from Rapid Responder application

Read more…

GIS for Precipitation-Poverty Analysis

Poverty has many causes and consequences, connected in complex feedback loops. In order to design interventions to reduce poverty, it is critical to understand how it correlates with the political, social, geographic, and biophysical conditions of where the poor live — such as the amount of precipitation. GIS is a critical tool in analyzing the correlation between poverty and drought and creating maps that national governments, local administrators, and individual farmers can use to better allocate water, estimate crop yields, and forecast energy requirements.

I discussed this use of GIS with Gregory Yetman, staff associate at Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). He correlates precipitation data gathered by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) — established as a cooperative agreement between the Office of Global Programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Columbia University, as part of The Earth Institute at Columbia University — with poverty data from CIESIN's Poverty Mapping Project and population data from CIESIN's Gridded Population of the World project.

Read more…

Briefly Noted

What's the first result you get when you enter "GIS" in Google's search engine? A "sponsored link" to Google Earth and the tag line "Use Google Earth Pro — a software solution for viewing GIS data"! (However, if you spell out "geographic information system" that result does not appear.)

Department of Corrections

In last week's article about Autodesk, the link to MapGuide Enterprise 2008 did not work. It should have been this one.

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. Skyhook Wireless Secures $8.5 million of New Financing to Fuel Global Expansion

    2. Skyport And Cellcast Announce Strategic Alliance To Bring Emergency Alert Systems To Cell Phones

    3. International Engineering and Construction Contractor Michels Corporation Adopts ESRI ArcGIS Server

    4. Papa Gino's Deploying geoVue's Dynamic Location Optimization Solution To Expand Chain Within, Outside of New England

    5. PB Selects Intermap Technologies' 3D Elevation Models for California High-Speed Train Project

    6. Intergraph Delivers Integrated Transportation Management System to South Carolina Department of Transportation

    7. New Hampton Roads Area Traffic Cameras Go Online with TrafficLand.com


    1. GRASS GIS Releases Version 6.2.2

    2. Timmons Group Unveils New TG LoGIStics GIS Product Family for State and Local Governments

    3. DMTI Spatial Breathing New Life into the Paper Map

    4. Hemisphere GPS' Crescent R100 Series RTK Technology Now Shipping

    5. Software Link-Up With Google Earth Helps Military Mission Planners

    6. Definiens Enterprise Image Intelligence Suite 7 Integrates Automated Image Intelligence within GIS-Environments


    1. URISA's Fourth Caribbean GIS Conference Announced

    2. Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial 2007

    3. New Urban Research, Inc. Announces Mapping Nebraska Communities Introductory GIS and Analysis Workshop

    4. The 2007 South Florida GIS EXPO Committee


    1. Bruce Ogden Named Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SPOT Image Corp.

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

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