ESRI Provides Around-the-clock Support for Oil Disaster

Redlands, California – May 11, 2010 – ESRI is providing a number of support activities for the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Working closely with dozens of agencies and the geographic information system (GIS) community, ESRI has deployed its disaster response team to provide assistance to users in local, state, and federal government agencies as well as the private sector. The team is supplying software, technical support, GIS data, and personnel.

ESRI is also providing support and services through its disaster response Web site. Resources available include continuously updated maps, data, and applications as well as links to incident sites and related Web pages. As part of the site, ESRI launched an interactive map application that allows users to add points with links to online photos, Web sites, and YouTube videos. Visitors can add current information to the map and increase everyone's awareness of activities related to this tragic event.

In addition, ESRI deployed an ArcGIS Online group that includes maps, data, Web services, and applications related to the oil spill. The content is being published by ESRI and other organizations to support response and mitigation requirements. The group currently features the following types of content:

  • Applications: ESRI Web mapping applications that combine ESRI maps with other types of information
  • Services: Links to ArcGIS services directories with relevant data
  • Data and maps: Links to downloadable data, maps, and layer packages

Some of the ArcGIS content and services include an oil spill plume trajectory, an environmental sensitivity index map, and electronic navigation charts.

"This is a complicated event that will be difficult to manage," says Russ Johnson, director of public safety solutions for ESRI. "There are multiple agencies working around the clock to effectively respond. We're providing online maps and services to get relevant information quickly to people. We're also deploying our disaster response team to work hand in hand with our user community to provide them with whatever GIS resources they require."

First responders, government officials, environmental experts, and others, use GIS to monitor oil spill flow and identify potential impacts to natural resources. GIS analysis and data help response agencies collaborate by increasing their situational awareness to support command and control. As the event unfolds, agencies will be able to make better decisions to manage its repercussions. GIS is a technology that supports incident management efforts through delivery of current and accurate information using a powerful common operating picture.