Google Maps and Local Photographer Team to Visualize the Destruction in Joplin, MO.

This year has truly been the year of tornadoes. As of May 24, there have been 1,208 tornadoes reported in the U.S. in 2011 (about 875 were confirmed). Perhaps the most devastating of theses tornados struck the people of Joplin on Sunday May 22, 2011. The tornado left an estimated 123 people dead, 750 injured, and about 1,500 people missing. According to NOAA “The Joplin tornado is the deadliest since modern recordkeeping began in 1950 and is ranked 8th among the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history.” Google has responded to the need to know more about this destructive tornado and visualize the before and after impact of this deadly and unprecedented event. Google Maps now includes a visualization (seen here) of the tornado’ path. The path of the storm can be followed by the fuchsia line. The starting point is marked with red, and the end point is marked with green. The light green area of the map represents the part of the city with scattered reports of damage. The damage is mostly from downbursts and falling debris. The dark green is the area that the tornado caused severe damage and the red area was totally destroyed.

Geospatial Revolution – A Video Series on Geospatial Technology

Location, location, location. Historically, the saying is like the real estate agent’s mantra. Have a good location and boom, your house practically sells itself. More recently though with the increased availability of cutting edge location-based technology, these three words have taken on a whole new meaning. That’s the basis for Episode One of the four-part online miniseries, Geospatial Revolution. Created by Penn State Public Broadcasting, Geospatial Revolution is a web-based project that aims to educate viewers about the recent rise in geospatial and location-based technologies.

LA Earth uses Google Earth Enterprise

Emergency preparedness is often times something most residents don’t think about until they’re face to face with a disaster. By then it could be too late. Louisiana is doing their part to stop this trend and help residents with emergency preparedness. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) have released the first public version of Google Earth Enterprise. This new software, called Louisiana Earth, will assist the citizens of Louisiana in emergency planning. Released as part of the state's "Get a Game Plan" campaign, Louisiana Earth uses Google Earth Enterprise to assist citizens in creating evacuation plans. LA Earth provides access to all of the states evacuation routes, sheltering points, historical hazard data and other information that is essential during an evacuation such as locations of and available occupancy of hotels, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, veterinary clinics and banks.

More than Just Maps – From Haiti to Pakistan GIS has Unlimited Potential for Doing Good

I regularly check out my local Home Owners Association online discussion boards to get the scoop on neighborhood events and happenings. And, living close to the nation’s capital, transportation issues are often top of mind for us all. So I found myself following a popular thread about a local road construction project. Being the resourceful neighbors that we are (and just a little curious to know whether said project would help or hinder commuter traffic) the thread took on it own life as we harnessed our collective information gathering power to get the scoop. One contributor tracked down information from Virginia DOT’s web site; then another posted a Google Maps aerial image of the area; others chimed in with some local hearsay and, eureka, we concluded that our little hometown road project was in fact a step in the right direction towards easing congesting at a major commuter route interchange.