The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employs Geographic Information Science in areas ranging from navigation to resource management to emergency response. The number of Geographic Information Systems at field sites has dramatically increased over the last few years to better utilize NOAA’s growing collection of spatial data. Benefits of this geospatial information structure include the ability to quickly respond with vital information to emergencies and disasters. The disaster team was able to quickly develop maps to locate where people and debris might drift if they were floating on the ocean’s surface. Instead of charts or numbers, the team was able to actually get a real-world perspective that was beneficial to getting a clear idea of what the crash site was like, what was happening, and what resources were around it.
For more information about the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 tragedy and how GIS benefited in the recovery, please read the full article here.
Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC