Homeland Security and Geographic Information Systems: How GIS and Mapping Technology Can Save Lives and Protect Property in Post-September 11th America   [open pdf - 109KB]

Timely, accurate information, easily accessed and capable of being shared across federal, state, and local political jurisdictions is fundamental to the decision making capability of those tasked with the homeland security mission. But without the real-time ability to quickly visualize activity patterns, map locations, and understand the multi-layered geospatial context of emergency situations, homeland security will not be achieved. The current state of geospatial information technology can provide decision-makers the data they need to confidently confront a wide variety of threats including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, sabotage, and similar crises. However, the current implementation of that technology, across all the federal, state, and local agencies and jurisdictions necessary to fully coordinate an effective response, is seriously lacking in specific areas. As the concept of Homeland Security becomes infused into the work-a-day pattern of government and the everyday life of our citizens, decision makers will greatly profit from the crisis management "edge" that GIS provides. Homeland Security leaders should understand and implement the policy changes necessary to fully realize this technology's capability, and make the management decisions necessary to implement it on a national basis.

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Federal Geographic Data Committee http://www.fgdc.gov/publications/publications.html
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