|Talbot Brooks views a grid map of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
The Delta State Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies is producing maps to assist in a relief effort for the earthquake stricken area of Haiti.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the capital and most populated city of the Caribbean island nation, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas causing incalculable loss of life.
With a host of rescue missions being sent to assist in relief efforts, the Delta State Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies was contacted by a member of the Department of Homeland Security with a request for maps that could assist the efforts of numerous government and independent relief agencies. The goal is to produce maps that are usable to a person on the ground in hopes of coordinating efforts in any rescue and relief mission.
A U.S. National Grid work is being conducted by the Center with the support of the U.S. Geological Survey. The National Grid is a coordinate system that helps responders by providing a common, spatially-based reference in a landscape devoid of the visual cues (street signs, buildings, etc.) that are needed for navigation. The system also supports management through the provision of spatially-referenced areas (grid boxes on a map).
According to Director of Delta State Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies Talbot Brooks, “The Center has extensive experience in working during times of crisis from both the emergency response and geospatial support perspectives. We hope we may contribute to the larger effort – we are a small cog in a very big wheel – by leveraging this experience and our relationships to create usable products and services that will help save lives in the immediate term and facilitate recovery in the longer term.”
The mission of the Delta State Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies is to provide geospatial services, accessible education and training, and institutional knowledge for geospatial information technologies to the widest possible audience, and particularly, the mid-Delta region. The Center provides degrees in geospatial technologies, for-credit courses, and professional training. More information about USNG is available from http://mississippi.deltastate.edu.