For many years, major governmental agencies, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), have been embracing new and innovative ways for accessing and sharing crowdsourced data through social networks. While this is a natural progression for organizations to access data for decision making, it begs the question: is all of this data truly valid?
Two well-publicized incursions at heavily protected U.S. facilities this summer illustrate the glaring weaknesses that still remain in high-tech perimeter security systems. Although the breaches were ultimately benign, the incidents at JFK Airport in New York and the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee serve as not-so-subtle reminders of the high stakes involved in safeguarding our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Traditional GIS applications have long been a trusted tool of the trade for professionals working in the field of emergency management. Recent advances have led to a greater capability to undertake a holistic approach to incident management utilising much more than the conventional knowledge derived from static maps and GIS silos.
The 2012 Esri International User Conference took place in San Diego, Calif., from July 23-27. The audience of more than 14,000 attendees came from 126 countries, with a full third from outside the United States, and a full third there for their first time. This year's theme, "Opening Our World," was meant to address the rapid changes that are facing our world, and the power of geographic thinking to understand and deal with the challenges. The rapid evolution of GIS is rising to the challenge, becoming more multidimensional, easier to use, with better data management and usability, and more mobile and real-time.