Crisis Mapping with GIS: A Game Changer

by Nigel Waters, GeoWorld, May 13, 2011

Nigel Waters, editor of Cartographica, is a professor of geography and director for the Center of Excellence for Geographic Information Science, George Mason University; e-mail: nwaters@gmu.edu.

You may have missed it, but on Dec. 22, 1989, the 1990s were designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The objective was to mitigate by coordinated international cooperation “the loss of life, property damage, and social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, wildfires … and other calamities of natural origin.” (See http://www.undemocracy.com/A-RES-44-236.pdf.)

GIS’ Promise, IDNDR’s Failure

At the start of the 1990s, many believed that GIS might help in the task of natural-disaster reduction. There was the obvious potential to use GIS to alleviate the impact of disasters due to human agency. …

For full text of the article, visit Crisis Mapping with GIS: A Game Changer | Articles – Publishing Titles | GeoPlace.

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