"In his PrepTalk, Dr. Chen outlines the different ways data mapping can be used to help emergency managers identify those at risk before, during, and after a disaster. He demonstrates how geospatial data combined with socioeconomic data gives emergency managers, the news media, and the public a better understanding of what the risk is and the potential associated effects of disasters. 'It's always good to [use maps to] explain where population centers are and who is vulnerable,' Dr. Chen said. He is the Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), a unit of Columbia University's Earth Institute. Dr. Chen also manages the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC); part of NASA's network of Earth Science Data Centers."
Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/