ESRI unveils series of homeland security initiatives

ESRI unveils series of homeland security initiatives

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ESRI has unveiled a series of Homeland Security initiatives, including technology grants, training, and advanced educational materials, for local, state, and federal government agencies and private organizations. To help people involved in homeland security, ESRI has created a Web site located at www.esri.com/homelandsecurity.

ESRI’s dynamic program is in part the result of a large, strategic summit with top technology, government, and private officials in health; fire; law enforcement; emergency response; and local, state, and federal government. The summit was held at ESRI’s headquarters in Redlands, California, to determine homeland security needs and develop processes for planning, preparedness, and response to homeland security threats.

New initiatives unveiled include the following:
A Technology Grant Program for Agencies of All Sizes
ESRI is contributing 100 copies of geographic information system (GIS) software for U.S. cities under 100,000 people. ESRI is also using an application process to award ten enterprise GIS software grants to large government agencies. The grants will consist of software, training, and support. GIS is critical to homeland security because it enables integration of all types of information. Data from entities, such as water, sewer, utility, law enforcement, fire, health, and building and safety can be easily integrated using GIS. This type of data sharing, analysis, and graphic representation speeds understanding of vulnerabilities, enhances event management, and improves the decision making process at all levels of response. The grant program will provide a means for agencies of all sizes to utilize the power of GIS to conduct risk assessment, mitigation needs, preparedness analysis, and response assessment and to share data.

Homeland Security Seminars
Seminars on the use of GIS for homeland security will be offered at a number of cities across the country. These seminars will target the agencies and departments involved, including public works, health, utilities, agriculture, police, and fire-and will cover risk assessment, planning, mitigation, and response.

White Papers and Educational Materials
Working with leaders in technology and dozens of industries, ESRI is releasing a series of comprehensive white papers related to GIS and homeland security. These include GIS for Homeland Security and the soon to be released GIS for Homeland Security, Planning Process-How to Do Planning with GIS and Bioterrorism Surveillance And Response Analysis Systems.

ESRI’s GIS for Homeland Security brochure provides information on creating a homeland security response plan and how GIS can be a core, unifying technology in this effort. A multimedia CD will be available that provides homeland security information that includes interviews with leading homeland security experts.