IGEMS offers integrated maps allowing monitoring, analysis as events occur
01/24/2014, WASHINGTON – A new Interior Department website offers the public as well as federal, state and local emergency management communities online maps containing the latest available information on earthquakes, earthquake shakemaps, streamflow data and floods, volcanoes and wildfires, as well as information on severe weather hazards.
The Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS), managed by the department’s Office of Emergency Management, provides ongoing awareness of natural hazards, enabling individuals to monitor and analyze natural hazard events as they occur. Information is presented in an integrated geospatial view that locates these threats with reference data, including various basemaps that can be selected by users. The system utilizes data from Interior bureaus, such as the U.S. Geological Survey as well as data provided by the National Weather Service and other authoritative sources.
“Awareness of natural hazards -- whether from geological threats such as earthquakes and volcanoes or from severe weather -- help us to make prudent decisions on how much we should invest in preparedness and planning for such events,” said Laurence Broun, Interior’s Director of Emergency Management. “Our Interior Operations Center and other government facilities have immediate access to natural hazard information. Using the power of the internet, it is now possible for us to share a picture of current natural hazards with the public, integrating our own data with that of other government agencies.”
IGEMS is the next generation replacement for the Natural Hazards Support System that had been in operation since 2003, supporting a significant customer base that registered more than 8 million hits a month. That system was one of the first public applications to provide an integrated approach in incorporating a wide range of hazards into a dynamic mapping environment. Since IGEMS uses the latest software and technology, it provides functionality beyond that of the earlier system, including support for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
“The emergency management and preparedness communities have a long history of collaboration in developing and sharing critical data and maps, which enables us to work together to protect property and lives,” said Jerry Johnston, Interior’s Chief Geospatial Officer. “With the advancement of web mapping technology, the public expects to also be able to quickly and easily access this information, and IGEMS is a great tool that allows everyone to share this common view.”
IGEMS, located at igems.doi.gov, is managed by the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, under an agreement with Interior’s Office of Emergency Management. Comments on the website, including recommendations for future data enhancements, can be directed to the systems manager, Jill Cress, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cress developed the original Natural Hazards Support System and has worked closely with partners in numerous government agencies to develop reliable, authoritative sources of data for timely display of natural hazard information.