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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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SUCCESSFUL RESPONSE STARTS WITH A MAP

Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management

Committee on Planning for Catastrophe: A Blueprint for Improving Geospatial Data, Tools, and Infrastructure

Mapping Science Committee

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award No. W-92759; U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Contract No. 50-DGNA-1-90024; U.S. Department of Defense/National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Award No. NMA501-03-1-2019 T0029; and Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey, Grant No. 03HQGR0147. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10340-1

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-10340-4

Additional copies of this report are available from the

National Academies Press,

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Cover: Designed by Michele de la Menardiere. Top left shows a U.S. Coast Guard rescue from a home surrounded by floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (AP photo by David J. Phillip); middle right, a simulation of a category-3 storm surge in New Orleans showing emergency services (image courtesy the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency); bottom left shows an area in Long Beach, Mississippi, roughly 1 week after Hurricane Katrina (image, courtesy of Bruce Davis, Department of Homeland Security). Background shows satellite imagery of a forest fire (image courtesy Digital Globe).

Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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COMMITTEE ON PLANNING FOR CATASTROPHE: A BLUEPRINT FOR IMPROVING GEOSPATIAL DATA, TOOLS, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, Chair,

University of California, Santa Barbara

ANDREW J. BRUZEWICZ,

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Remote Sensing/GIS Center, Hanover, New Hampshire

SUSAN L. CUTTER,

University of South Carolina, Columbia

PAUL J. DENSHAM,

University College London

AMY K. DONAHUE,

University of Connecticut, West Hartford

J. PETER GOMEZ,

Xcel Energy, Denver, Colorado

PATRICIA HU,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, Tennessee

JUDITH KLAVANS,

University of Maryland, College Park

JOHN J. MOELLER,

Northrop Grumman TASC, Chantilly, Virginia

MARK MONMONIER,

Syracuse University, New York

BRUCE OSWALD,

James W. Sewell Co., Latham, New York

CARL REED,

Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc., Ft. Collins, Colorado

ELLIS M. STANLEY, SR.,

Emergency Preparedness Department City of Los Angeles, California

Staff

ANN G. FRAZIER, Program Officer

JARED P. ENO, Senior Program Assistant (since August 2006)

AMANDA M. ROBERTS, Senior Program Assistant (through August 2006)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE

KEITH C. CLARKE, Chair,

University of California, Santa Barbara

ISABEL F. CRUZ,

University of Illinois, Chicago

ROBERT P. DENARO,

NAVTEQ Corporation, Chicago, Illinois

SHOREH ELHAMI,

Delaware County Auditor’s Office, Delaware, Ohio

DAVID R. FLETCHER,

GPC, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico

JIM GERINGER, ESRI,

Wheatland, Wyoming

JOHN R. JENSEN,

University of South Carolina, Columbia

NINA S.-N. LAM,

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

MARY L. LARSGAARD,

University of California, Santa Barbara

DAVID R. MAIDMENT,

The University of Texas, Austin

ROBERT B. MCMASTER,

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

SHASHI SHEKHAR,

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

NANCY TOSTA,

Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd., Seattle, Washington

EUGENE TROBIA,

Arizona State Land Department, Phoenix

Staff

ANN G. FRAZIER, Program Officer

JARED P. ENO, Senior Program Assistant (since August 2006)

AMANDA M. ROBERTS, Senior Program Assistant (through August 2006)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES

Members

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

M. LEE ALLISON,

Arizona Geological Survey, Tucson

GREGORY B. BAECHER,

University of Maryland, College Park

STEVEN R. BOHLEN,

Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Washington, D.C.

KEITH C. CLARKE,

University of California, Santa Barbara

DAVID COWEN,

University of South Carolina, Columbia

ROGER M. DOWNS,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

JEFF DOZIER,

University of California, Santa Barbara

KATHERINE H. FREEMAN,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

RHEA L. GRAHAM,

Pueblo of Sandia, Bernalillo, New Mexico

ROBYN HANNIGAN,

Arkansas State University, State University

MURRAY W. HITZMAN,

Colorado School of Mines, Golden

V. RAMA MURTHY,

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

RAYMOND A. PRICE,

Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

BARBARA A. ROMANOWICZ,

University of California, Berkeley

JOAQUIN RUIZ,

University of Arizona, Tucson

MARK SCHAEFER,

Global Environment and Technology Foundation, Arlington, Virginia

RUSSELL STANDS-OVER-BULL,

BP American Production Company, Pryor, Montana

BILLIE L. TURNER II,

Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

TERRY C. WALLACE, JR.,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico

STEPHEN G. WELLS,

Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

THOMAS J. WILBANKS,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee

Staff

ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director

PAUL M. CUTLER, Senior Program Officer

ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Senior Program Officer

DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer

ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer

ANN G. FRAZIER, Program Officer

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
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SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Program Officer

RONALD F. ABLER, Senior Scholar

VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative and Financial Associate

JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Financial Associate

CAETLIN M. OFIESH, Research Associate

JARED P. ENO, Senior Program Assistant

NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Massoud Amin, University of Minnesota

Jane Bullock, Bullock and Haddow, LLC

Michael Domaratz, U.S. Geological Survey (retired)

Gerald Galloway, University of Maryland

David Kehrlein, Environmental Systems Research Institute

Arthur Lerner-Lam, Columbia University

Henk Scholten, Free University in Amsterdam

Seth Stein, Northwestern University

Gayle Sugiyama, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Robert

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Hamilton, National Research Council (retired) and U.S. Geological Survey (retired), and Dr. Chris G. Whipple, ENVIRON International Corporation. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

Preface

After the events of September 11, 2001, there was a widespread sense in the United States and in many other parts of the world that humanity was entering a new and more dangerous era. Subsequent events, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005, and the terrorist bombings of July 7, 2005, in London have if anything strengthened that feeling, as have the potential threats of pandemic flu, dirty bombs, and smallpox. Whether one believes that greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for an increase in the frequency and severity of hurricanes, or that television and the Internet make us all too aware of potential dangers, or that the sheer magnitude of historical events such as the European Black Death of the fourteenth century, the 1556 earthquake in Shansi, China, or the Asian flu pandemic of 1919 overshadow our modern disasters by orders of magnitude, the sheer complexity and interdependencies of modern society clearly make us enormously vulnerable, whether it be to natural disasters or to terrorist attacks. The modern systems that we require to sustain our way of life—the systems that transport our energy, create our food supply, allow us to communicate over vast distances, and maintain our low infant mortality and high life expectancy—are all vulnerable to degrees that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Furthermore, the dollar toll from these events is increasing due to population growth in disaster-prone areas, especially in those areas susceptible to hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

In this new world of the twenty-first century it is essential that we anticipate such events and their potential impacts. It is impossible to know exactly what form they will take, how severe they will be, or where and

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11793.
×

when they will occur, but the value of planning has been amply demonstrated. This report is about the value of a specific area of planning and about how the United States might make improvements in that specific area. Geospatial data and tools are currently used for emergency response, but recent events have demonstrated the many ways in which our geospatial data and tools and the use we make of them fail us, both in preparing for unpredictable events and in responding to them afterwards. This report examines the current use of geospatial data and tools in emergency management and makes recommendations to improve that use.

The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Geography, now the Geographical Sciences Committee, first discussed the need for this study in 2000, well before the events of September 11, 2001. Those and subsequent events led to a greater sense of urgency, a search for sponsorship, refinement of the study’s charge, and to the eventual formation of a study committee in 2004 under the auspices of the NRC Mapping Science Committee. We thank the sponsors, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey, for providing funding for this study.

The committee was composed of 13 members and included scientists, social scientists, and engineers from academia, industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations. Committee members included people with experience in designing decision support tools; users of these tools; and experts in natural hazards, risk analysis, transportation, utility infrastructure, geospatial data and remote sensing, disaster planning and response, and computer and information science. The committee included members with extensive field experience in emergency management and response.

Several meetings were held to gather evidence from individuals and representatives of organizations and agencies, including emergency response practitioners and experts in geospatial data and tools. The primary information-gathering event was a workshop held on October 5-6, 2005, which included five discussion panels with approximately 25 panelists from the relevant academic disciplines and agencies and from the commercial software and data products industry. The workshop included a mix of discussion panels and breakout discussions.

This report presents the committee’s findings and recommendations. It is designed to be read by any public official who is concerned to make his or her community disaster resilient: leaders of emergency response and emergency operations agencies, elected officials and citizens who are concerned about community vulnerability, agency staff who make or recommend decisions about the allocation or acquisition of resources, developers of technologies, or members of committees charged with developing policies.

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In the past few years the United States has experienced a series of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which have severely taxed and in many cases overwhelmed responding agencies. In all aspects of emergency management, geospatial data and tools have the potential to help save lives, limit damage, and reduce the costs of dealing with emergencies. Great strides have been made in the past four decades in the development of geospatial data and tools that describe locations of objects on the Earth's surface and make it possible for anyone with access to the Internet to witness the magnitude of a disaster. However, the effectiveness of any technology is as much about the human systems in which it is embedded as about the technology itself.

Successful Response Starts with a Map assesses the status of the use of geospatial data, tools, and infrastructure in disaster management, and recommends ways to increase and improve their use. This book explores emergency planning and response; how geospatial data and tools are currently being used in this field; the current policies that govern their use; various issues related to data accessibility and security; training; and funding. Successful Response Starts with a Map recommends significant investments be made in training of personnel, coordination among agencies, sharing of data and tools, planning and preparedness, and the tools themselves.

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