Rockland County, New York, hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, used a new GIS app to manage response. No, that's not big news. What I find valuable is this:
The county took proactive steps to improve emergency preparedness last year in the wake of Hurricane Irene and the late October blizzard. Rockland secured funding from the Department of Homeland Security to commission Sewall to develop a real time tool based on its need for information. Sewall proposed a an enhancement to the existing online emergency GIS application and delivered a beta version for training local police and highway department staff in advance of Sandy. Designed to be efficient to use and easy to learn, the tool was tested before the storm hit and used with success throughout and after the storm.
In particular, Ilike the idea that we enhance what we have (and hopefully use everyday) for emergency situations. I hate reading about how some new tool is used "only" for such emergency situations!
The Village of Morton, IL is upgrading its website.
“A little bit farther down the road there will be a web-based GIS application where people will be able to use our mapping data and interact with it,” [GIS/IT manager Jeff] Bedeker said. “Right now, we just have PDF maps to look at.”
The update was live Oct 3; it was covered in the local paper on the day after Christmas.
The Next Web spills the beans on an early beta of the EU's open data website. The portal was announced via Twitter on Christmas Eve. Per TNW:
open data is general information that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone. In this case, it concerns all the information that public bodies in the European Union produce, collect or pay for (it’s similar to the United States government’s Data.gov).
The big announcement is expected in January.
In Jamaica, GIS will be a key part of addressing squatters.
[CHAIRMAN of Environmental Solutions Limited Barry] Wade called on his colleagues to initiate a multi-disciplinary approach to arriving at the most suitable and effective policies and programmes to deal with squatting across the island. He said that environmental professionals trained in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in particular, need to increase their efforts if they are to meet the demand for useful squatting-related data in the shortest possible time.