An Open GeoSpatial Standards-Enabled Google Earth Application to Support Crisis Management

Name of the provider (company name or main contact name), or FIRE IN ID ? Pezanowski, Scott; Tomaszewski, Brian; MacEachren, Alan M.

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Scope, rationale, context: general description. Precise here if this technology is currently use (eg. company name or contact info) Google Earth (GE) and related open geospatial technologies have changed both the accessibility of and audience for geospatial information dramatically. Through data rich applications with easy to use interfaces, these technologies bring personalized geospatial information directly to the non-specialist. When coupled with open geospatial data standards, such as Web Map Services (WMS), Web Features Services (WFS), and GeoRSS, the resulting web-based technologies have the potential to assimilate heterogeneous data from distributed sources rapidly enough to support time-critical activities such as crisis response. Although the ability to view and interact with data in these environments is important, this functionality alone is not sufficient for the demands of crisis response activity. For example, GE's standard version currently lacks geoanalysis capabilities such as geographic buffering and topology functions. In this paper, we present development of the "Google Earth Dashboard" (GED), a web-based interface powered by open geospatial standards and designed for supplementing and enhancing the geospatial capabilities of GE. The GED allows users to create custom maps through WMS layer addition to GE and perform traditional GIS analysis functions. Utility of the GED is presented in a use-case scenario where GIS operations implemented to work with GE are applied to support crisis management activities. The GED represents an important first step towards combining the ubiquity of GE and geospatial standards into an easy-to-use, data rich, geo-analytically powerful environment that can support crisis management activity.

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Google Earth (GE) and related open geospatial technologies have changed both the accessibility of and audience for geospatial information dramatically. Through data rich applications with easy to use interfaces, these technologies bring personalized geospatial information directly to the non-specialist. When coupled with open geospatial data standards, such as Web Map Services (WMS), Web Features Services (WFS), and GeoRSS, the resulting web-based technologies have the potential to assimilate heterogeneous data from distributed sources rapidly enough to support time-critical activities such as crisis response. Although the ability to view and interact with data in these environments is important, this functionality alone is not sufficient for the demands of crisis response activity. For example, GE's standard version currently lacks geoanalysis capabilities such as geographic buffering and topology functions. In this paper, we present development of the "Google Earth Dashboard" (GED), a web-based interface powered by open geospatial standards and designed for supplementing and enhancing the geospatial capabilities of GE. The GED allows users to create custom maps through WMS layer addition to GE and perform traditional GIS analysis functions. Utility of the GED is presented in a use-case scenario where GIS operations implemented to work with GE are applied to support crisis management activities. The GED represents an important first step towards combining the ubiquity of GE and geospatial standards into an easy-to-use, data rich, geo-analytically powerful environment that can support crisis management activity.

TRL of the proposed solution - Innovation stage (if applicable) Not applicable

Web addresses/URL of flyers and information 10.1007/978-3-540-72108-6_15

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published in 2007

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