Sunday, August 28, 2011

Google's Crisis Map - Falling Short of the Mark

For those with interest in Google's offering for the masses for Hurricane Irene, go here

Comment: In many ways this is a very nice, simple way to make a dynamic emergency situation, visually understandable.  However, as a geospatial tool being promoted by a "crisis response organization", it is sorely lacking in one very important feature, U.S. National Grid (USNG) capability - something that has been shown can be easily implemented within Google's mapping applications by much smaller organizations like the National Search and Rescue Committee and Florida's Division of Emergency Management.  Unfortunately, this oversight by the 10 million pound gorilla in the common man's world of maps means Google is missing out on an excellent opportunity to help build national awareness about this use of geospatial technology for emergency preparedness and response (unlike ESRI), as well as awareness about U.S. geospatial standards for crisis response (see page 119 of this document).  Google has done so many great things when it comes to bringing geospatial awareness to the world - for all our sakes, let's hope this is one area where they soon do the same.

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