Deepwater Horizon GIS Data Concerns
On June 9 of this year, I sent a letter stating my concerns about access to Deepwater Horizon GIS data to government officials, incident command personnel, and concerned individuals. The letter describes in detail the GIS work completed at ICP Houma in the month of May, and it suggests that all responders were not being provided direct access to GIS data in a National Incident Management (NIMS) compliant manner. See www.thegisinstitute.org for a summary of the GIS activity. See the letter in its final form at www.thegisinstitute.org/letter
I feel this particular problem has been clearly stated. It is the core mission of The GIS Institute to understand the geotechnical challenges around a mission, and then move into the creative process of understanding and sharing solutions, even when the challenges appear constant and compelling. I am now working on the proposal to create supplemental architecture and workflow, which will provide GIS data access to all who need it; responders, EOC staff, state and local government officials, researchers, and the general public. BP is hosting a viewer at http://www.gulfofmexicoresponsemap.com/dwhi/ We hope to see more data and tools on this viewer, with the ability to download data to any local GIS unit for further research and analysis.
I felt powerless watching the news in the first two weeks of the Deepwater Horizon incident… once I was at the ICP in Houma, I put all of my passion, and that of the friends and family, into creating a state-of-the-art GIS to support the response. Everyone involved with deploying and contributing to the GIS in Houma is working passionately, and under a rapidly evolving scenario. New processes and ideas are constantly refining the work, and they way we work, every day.
There is plenty of anger and blame surrounding this environmental disaster, and I encourage all involved to keep focused on solutions. Many thanks for all of the support!
Drew Stephens, Director,
The GIS Institute
PO Box 1124 Boulder, CO 80306