Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Emergency Management GIS Capabilities. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Emergency Management GIS Capabilities.
With the invention of the Internet, the world became a little smaller place. The Internet gave us the means to connect with family and friends both foreign and domestic. Two sisters separated by the Atlantic could stay in touch more often and it cost them far less.
June 2005, Google Earth is launched and now not only does the Internet allow you to connect with friends and family but here's a product that allows you to see exactly where they are located anywhere in the world. The public is now beginning to understand GIS capabilities.
Global Positioning Systems have also played an important part in GIS. A GPS can be purchased at local department stores for less than $100.00 today. This allows more public access to this tool due to it’s affordability and easy access to available stock.
Both GPS and Online Map Viewers such as Google Earth, Arc Explorer and Bing Maps have had an important part in bringing GIS to the forefront of the public eye in the following ways:
Disasters are the responsibility of local government to manage. The state EMA serves as a coordinating entity between local governments and the rest of the world, whether it be EMAC, SMAC or the federal government.
GIS is more readily available and affordable for small local governments. Local tax assessors, county engineers and even first responders use GIS both in their normal day to day functions as well as at times when they’re managing an emergency event.
As Local governments use and understand current and emerging GIS Technology, their expectations will change. Where a particular product may have previously been viewed as an excessive expense, it will now be accepted as a necessary purchase.
With budgets stretched thin the lure of affordable GIS is still hard for some smaller local governments to obtain. This is where the state EMA’s can step in to help bridge this gap.
Good Data is one of the most important parts of a good dependable GIS. We’ve all heard the old saying. “Garbage in, Garbage out”! Well the same can be said about GIS data.
There can be a great trade-off between Local government and the State EMA. Local government can provide good clean data and the state can in turn process, catalog, store and then provide a usable GIS product for the end user.
One of the products that MEMA has available for Map Product production is TerraGo’s GeoPDF. This product allows you to convert a .mxd file to a GeoPDF. The end user needs only to have the free TerraGo toolbar downloaded and at least Adobe Reader 5, which is another free download.
GeoPDFs allow us to take a map document from ArcMap and convert it into a product that can be sent out via email to either local governments or first responders.
The best thing about this is that the end user doesn’t have to purchase software to support the GeoPDF.
There are numerous sources of GIS Data in Mississippi. Two of the most popular are the MS Automated Resource Information System (MARIS) and The MS Geospatial Clearinghouse (MGC).
MARISMississippi Automated Resource Information System
Goal – To facilitate the achievement of state agencies’ responsibilities as related to Mississippi’s natural and cultural resources.
What MARIS does – Recognized nationally and statewide as a source for expertise in all matters pertaining to Geographic Information Systems.
Uniquely accessible to all who request with no-cost advice, technical assistance and custom spatial data. Low-cost project work is also available.
MARIS Web Site – http://www.maris.state.ms.us - The web site is one of the most visible aspects of the MARIS activities. The site has generated compliments from across the nation and won awards for design and user friendliness.
1,500,000 Mississippi resource data files have been delivered over the last five (5) years to 106,000 clients. The web site operates on self generated funds.
MS Geospatial Clearinghouse
The MGC was placed into production in September 2007. It serves as the State’s premier portal for the GIS community. MGC is the primary location for the MS Digital Earth Model.
Upgrades at MGC
Because of changes in technologies and new requirements, the MS Department of Information Technology Services has contracted with Gary Hennington and his company The Geospatial Group to upgrade the current MGC.
Upgrades at MGC
Upgrades at MGC
Completion of the upgrade is scheduled for the middle of the Summer 2010.
MS Analytical Geospatial Network
MAGNet is a joint venture between the MS Analysis and Information Center (DHS) and MEMA. This system will allow our two agencies to share information and to create and produce independent Flex based products. MAGNet is based on the same Flex technology that Virginia uses in it’s VIPER product.
A product being used in North Carolina utilizing smart phones to capture gang graffiti via the phones camera feature. The location is then geospatially tagged and the gang affiliation is noted on a base map by a trained Gang Intervention Officer. Each of the three active gangs are assigned their own color coded pin. The GIO then monitors the encroachment of gangs into each others territory. As pins get closer to each other on the map gang violence tends to escalate.
GIS capabilities are constantly changing not just technologically but in ways in which to use it as demonstrated in the previous slide. You are truly only limited by your own imagination and creativeness. Whether dynamic or static, all data can be depicted in ways that will benefit the end user.