Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clash of Mapping Titans: ESRI Versus Google

As Geographic Information Systems (GIS) use in the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) has increased, mapping behemoths ESRI and Google have each taken steps to develop an approach for delivering online situational awareness to the public during disasters.  For its part, ESRI offers five different "Public Information" maps based on disaster type.  Find below a graphic example and link to their U.S. Wildfire Map:

ESRI offers this same approach for four other disaster types:

In contrast, Google's Crisis Map comes in two basic forms.  As shown in the wildfire example below, Google provides a dedicated view for any active disaster.  In addition, they incorporate other potential ongoing threats into one map. Links for both are provided below the wildfire graphic.

Comment: Three points:
  • Kudos to ESRI and Google for contributing to the common good by making these products available to the public.
  • Although both approaches have their pluses and minuses - the tie breaker goes to the 1st company that makes U.S. National Grid (USNG) a selectable feature. Given ESRI's past work with USNG, I would expect them to get there first.
  • Emergency Managers - are you thinking about maps as a way to communicate with the public?

Thanks to Fire Geek for a reminder that lead to this post.

Lead graphic credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment