BOX 3–4 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Data Integration program for Emergency Management
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a data integration program designed to not only pull together high-quality data sources for emergency management but also make them available to the public. ENGLink Interactive is an integrated system for communications, command, and control. Its database and mapping components allow for quick access to critical baseline and event-specific data. The data are displayed as interactive maps.
One of the system's components, the Digital Project Notebook, allows users to identify a location of interest, submit a query to the database, and receive a map based on chosen criteria via a web browser. An event viewer gives users access to information on all emergency events in which the Corps is involved on global and U.S. scales, including floods, hurricanes, and other hydrometeorological events. Locator and mapping tools provide detailed information on an event location and are accessible and designed to work with popular software packages.
A data integration program provides hazards information in map form for emergency managers and the public.
ENGLink's capabilities have been put to use in a number of recent disasters. After Hurricanes Marilyn (1995) and Bertha (1996), maps of the U.S. Virgin Islands were created that helped identify critical features and speed response and recovery.
by not knowing what exists or by finding it to be in an unusable form. Users often lack the capability, knowledge, or motivation to integrate this information into their decision-making processes.
Another problem is that information collected by agencies and organizations for operationally specific uses is often inconsistent with the techniques, formats, and terminology used by other agencies and organizations. The resulting mixture of inconsistent information makes use a daunting task and requires integration efforts often beyond the capability of most users. Disaster information network consensus standards would allow more effi-