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  • US Fire Admin
  • National Urban Search and Rescue Response System
  • SpatialNews WTC Disaster Home Page
  • GIS Database Developed for New York WTC Recovery Efforts

    By GeoCommunity Staff, Oct. 4, 2001
    A recent article in the New York Times addressed the role that GIS has played in the recent disaster recovery efforts in New York. What I got out of the article was an interesting time-line of the development of a GIS-based tool being used in the recovery efforts.

    The National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, established by FEMA was given the assignment of providing task force leaders with data concerning potential hazards. The following is a time-line showing the development of the rescue effort's GIS database:
    • no GIS equipment or staff available for 4 days due to airport closures
    • map of unstable building crudely drawn on a shopping guide
    • copies made and distributed to rescue crews
    • 4 GIS workstations and workers arrive
    • maps created depicting locations of command posts, first aid centers, food stations, fires and other hazards
    • debris on ground is tracked and catalogued
    • daily aerial photography using heat sensing camera is created
    • "hot spots" identified and overlayed with maps of underground fuel tanks
    • location of rescue efforts often based on the resiults
    • GPS use is limited due to surrounding buildings and other interference with signals
    • rescue effort locations plotted using a grid

    Coordinators of the rescue efforts have agreed that GIS has been crucial in putting together a plan. Benefits include ease of use, development of an organized and available archive. When the GIS database has been completed the database will be turned over to the Fire Department.

    FEMA has created a New York GIS archive on their website. Users will find maps and images created by the FEMA project team. Maps posted on the site include NY county maps, Manhattan 3D images, Debris Fields, and numerous other images. New York

    The original article can be found at New York Times

    New York Data Providers

    Community Cartography - The Subscription Mapping Service and Data Warehouse for the New York Metropolitan Region

    Census Bureau, New York Regional Office

    Cornell University Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

    New York Census Profiles

    NY State DOT GIS Department

    New York Spatial Data Clearinghouse

    New York GIS Data Clearinghouse

    Free New York GIS Data at GISDataDepot

    GIS at the Adirondack Park Agency

    Long Island GIS User Group

    National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis

    NYS Office of Real Property Services GIS

    New York Geology Resource Page

    New York State Metadata Repository

    USGS Digital Data Status for New York

    New York State Website

    USGS in New York

    More on the WTC Disaster

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