Digital Mapping in a
Disaster Response Environment
Mapping is an integral part of a disaster response. Whether the maps are paper or digital, getting useful information to the right people at the right time is critical…and hard. Luckily, the rapid development of technology, in terms of mapping, data collection, and data distribution are making this task easier, but there are still many lessons to learn. This presentation will cover what digital mapping in a disaster response environment looks like beginning with the 2003 Columbia Shuttle Recovery, through the 2010 BP Oil Spill, 2011 Japanese Tsunami, and ending with the 2016 Ft. Bend County floods. The presentation will touch on a different topic/aspect of the use of digital mapping for each disaster event. Finally, best practices will be reviewed as well as discussion on current challenges and opportunities for improvement.
About the speakers:
Dr. Richard Smith is an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and President of CartoFusion Technologies, Inc. He has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia and holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Rick’s research interests are in cartography, systems integration, and use of geospatial technology for disaster response. He has designed and implemented custom GIS software and authored maps for both the public and private sector. Such projects include designing and authoring a web-based mapping application for NASA, mapping the Columbia Shuttle debris for NASA’s Mishap Investigation Team, developing embedded computer systems for the logging of near real-time weather and tide information for the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network, and working with the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue to map debris in a fishing bay in Japan following the 2011 tsunami. Richard is currently researching methods to partially automate the cartographic design process and is also building SituMap: a multi-user multi-touch collaborative mapping application for use in time-sensitive situations.
Phone: (515) 604-9000