Updated: Alabama responders using Google Earth to find, map and analyze disaster sites
| 12.03.2007 | 07:58:34 | Views: 2788 | ID:
December 3 '07: The Huntsville Times in Alabama reported that local responders are using the Google Earth web-based location technology to help analyze, track and map emergency situations. The technology's ability was shown during a news conference with representatives from the Alabama State Department of Homeland Security, Google Earth technicians, and Governor Bob Riley.
The partnership is called Virtual Alabama and it will "enable the state's Department of Homeland Security to model where plumes from hazardous explosions might drift, build three-dimensional models of schools, bridges and other critical structures," Alabama Homeland Security director Jim Walker told those attending the press conference.The Times continued: "Firefighters could use such information before they enter a burning building. Virtual Alabama can overlay those models and satellite-aerial imagery with the locations of fire hydrants, gas pipelines, hazardous chemical data, and other key data that can help emergency personnel." Currently, the technology is being used by about 400 users and 75 agencies in the state. The technology is very inexpensive and free for personal users. State officials said the program had needed to be "relatively inexpensive" to promote its use throughout the state by local and county agencies.
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