Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and Louisiana State University’s CADGIS Research Laboratory, in collaboration with the Louisiana Center for Technology (LCET), has announced that it has developed an interactive Web site for the project, “Quest with GIS: A Louisiana K-12 Classroom Experience.” The project, which officially kicks off today (GIS Day), is aligned with state curriculum standards and will provide students and teachers the opportunity to assist their state in preparation for future emergencies. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, the American Red Cross, and the Louisiana GIS Council have served as advisors to the project.
Developed using GeoMedia WebMap technology, the Quest with GIS Web site allows students to submit information about school facilities related to sheltering evacuated families in emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, oil spills, and homeland security incidents. Students can view an aerial infrared image of their school’s neighborhood and determine the exact latitude and longitude of the building’s main entrance. In addition to including a survey form to facilitate students’ data collection and reporting about school buildings, the Web site provides detailed lesson plans for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.
By enabling schoolchildren to collect the data rather than sending state employees to the school buildings to capture the data, the state can save thousands of dollars. The resulting database of accurately mapped facility information will help the Department of Transportation and Development plan evacuation routes and aid the state Office of Emergency Preparedness, state police, American Red Cross, and other agencies with responsibility for public safety during emergencies. With hurricanes Isidore and Lili fresh in the minds of all Louisiana residents, the Quest with GIS interactive Web site helps maintain a state focus on preparing for future emergencies. This GIS technology initiative encourages state agencies to collaborate with academia for the protection of communities.