As Katrina continues to impact the south eastern United States, GIS and mapping have been a huge part of the rescue and relief efforts. Here’s a round up of what the press, bloggers and data providers are offering.
Geospatial in Reporting
“The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Center, headquartered [in Lafayette Louisiana], has geographers using a variety of satellite and aerial photos to plot the map coordinates of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people still stranded on rooftops and in trees in New Orleans so rescuers in boats and helicopters can find them.”
The Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana)
“On Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina came ashore, Eqecat Inc. of Oakland was predicting it would cost insurance companies $15 billion to $30 billion. When the storm lost speed and veered away from New Orleans to a less- populated area, Eqecat reduced its insured-loss estimate to $12 billion to $25 billion. Three hours after Katrina made landfall, Eqecat trimmed its prediction again, to its current estimate of $9 billion to $16 billion.
San Francisco Chronicle
“The storm virtually wiped Waveland [Mississippi] off the map, prompting state officials to say it took a harder hit from the wind and water than any other town along the coast.”
“Washed away main routes will hamper that rescue. Officials were working on plans Wednesday afternoon to map a “back-roads” route [from the SuperDome] into Texas [Astrodome].”
Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune
“IF YOU THREW a dart at a map of the United States 999 times, you could not hit a worse spot to locate a metropolis [than where New Orleans is].
“Before Katrina struck, a proposed federal study of how the city could survive a Category 4 or 5 hurricane was shelved because of the cost of the war in Iraq, while funding for the city’s main flood-protection plan was slashed.”
Philadelphia Daily News
“...a researcher could have Nexised the New Orleans Times-Picayune five-parter from 2002, “Washing Away,” which reported that the city’s 100,000 residents without private transportation were likely to be stranded by a big storm. In other words, what’s happening is what was expected to happen: The poor didn’t get out in time.”
“The Geospatial industry and community responded to last year’s Indonesian tsunami with an outpouring of ... flashy web maps. Let’s ease up on the maps this time, and focus on the material aid and relief desperately needed by the people injured and displaced by Hurricane Katrina.”
import cartography [blog]
“MSNBC’s mapping feature (via Scoble) is seriously overproduced”
The Map Room [blog]
Maps and Images
“The imagery posted on this site is of the Gulf coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
“This imagery was acquired by the NOAA Remote Sensing Division to support NOAA national security and emergency response requirements. In addition, it will be used for ongoing research efforts for testing and developing standards for airborne digital imagery.
“Please note that these images are uncorrected and not rotated. The approximate ground sample distance (GSD) for each pixel is 37 cm (1.2 feet). The images have 60% forward overlap, and sidelap unknown. Image file size is between 2 MB and 3 MB.”[While it says here this imagery is no longer available until further notice, I found it was via this index.]
NOAA, Via The Shelby Star
“Please do NOT add markers that ASK for information, only add markers that PROVIDE information.” [Request on Google Maps-based site for posting updated information on the status of areas impacted by Katrina.]
Via Google Map Mania
Hurricane Katrina Before and After
Hurricane Katrina Media Gallery
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina (Flash Interactive Maps)
The New York Times
Katrina Regional Aftermath (Flash Interactive Maps)