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August 12th, 2008
China Relief and Recovery Efforts Enhanced Using GIS

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and ESRI China (Beijing) Limited are supplying geographic information system
(GIS) software, staffing, and resources to assist in the relief and recovery
efforts taking place in the Sichuan province of China, where an 8.0-magnitude
earthquake occurred on May 12, causing the country’s worst natural disaster in
30 years. ESRI is working closely with government officials and dozens of
agencies, supplying GIS software, services, hardware, data, and more.

ESRI launched a disaster support
program to provide software to responding agencies and individuals as well as
access to disaster application materials, literature, demos, and more. ESRI
China (Beijing) donated money, software, and staffing. A GIS volunteer program
was put into place to help GIS professionals support earthquake-related tasks,
with more than 450 GIS volunteers

enrolled to date. ESRI GIS software and staff are supporting the
China Earthquake Administration (CEA), the
ese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), the
ese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and many other organizations.

In addition, ESRI has
collaborated with more than 20 technology companies, including Trimble,
Hewlett-Packard, ESRI China (Beijing) business partners, imagery vendors, and
data suppliers, to support the Chinese government agencies.

 "Our deepest sympathies go
out to the Chinese people and those affected by this terrible event," says
Jack Dangermond, president, ESRI. "ESRI China (Beijing), along with ESRI
teams in Redlands, California, and many GIS organizations and individuals, are
working diligently to support the rescue efforts headed by the
CEA and other agencies in the
disaster area. Their work is important and has made a difference in the
immediate rescue and relief efforts. It’s going to continue to help in
long-term recovery, with GIS professionals working to rebuild communities and
help people."

 "GIS gives you a very good
visualization method to understand what is happening in real time," says
Francis Ho, president, ESRI China (Beijing). "GIS also provides tools to
better analyze large volumes of complex data. Immediately following the
earthquake, we worked on a continuous basis with government agencies and others
to offer assistance wherever we could. We will continue to support the
long-term recovery. The work being done with GIS is helping to reduce the
impact of this large, complex disaster."


GIS Applications Aid Short- and Long-Term Recovery

and ESRI China (Beijing) staff and volunteers worked with China CDC to develop
an epidemic monitoring and reporting system using mobile phones. ArcInfo,
ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, ArcGIS Tracking Analyst, and ArcGIS Server help track
disease incidents and their spread. Staff use GPS-enabled phones and devices to
wirelessly transmit data tied to locations back to the primary epidemic
tracking system

The CEA, tasked with capturing
and disseminating seismic information, deployed ESRI technology, including
ArcIMS and ArcSDE, to launch an official Web site ( that can be viewed by
both the public and other government officials. People can simply open up their
desktop computers, wireless laptop computers, Web-enabled phones, or other
mobile devices to view spatial data as it is being collected and published by

The Ministry of Civil
Affairs—Disaster Reduction Center requested that ESRI China (Beijing)
engineers come on-site to support imagery and data processing as aerial photos
and remotely sensed data depicting damage assessments and road collapses came
into the center. ESRI and ESRI China (Beijing) staff
, along with alliance members, help manage databases and
integrate information into a single, complete picture. Staff then decide what
relief workers and supplies should
go to specific areas.

Other agencies
using GIS resources include the Bureau of Land and Resources, Sichuan Province;
the Sichuan Geomatics Center; the Sichuan Bureau of Transportation; the Sichuan
Police and Fire Bureau; and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural
Resources Research, CAS.

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