Events

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Hurricane Track Through the Northeast

Amherst is fortunate in having not only an outstanding emergency response team, but also an outstanding IT department, led by Director Kris Pacunas, who, together with GIS Administrator Mike Olkin, has made it possible to put the latest technologies to use in the service of planning as well as communication and data management. Our GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are particularly robust, and offer residents information not only on properties and zoning, but even street trees, sewers, and cemeteries.

The Valley is also home to a lively and informal Valley GIS network, whose members, drawn from government, academe, and other areas, gather together outside of work to share tips on technology and data sets.  They were therefore on top of the evolving earthquake hurricane reports and helped to circulate information in the community.

Here is a fine representation of of the track of Hurricane Irene and its precipitation, prepared by Andy Anderson of Amherst College.


Here, from the US Geological Survey, is further information on the hurricane, as well as the August earthquake.

Resources:

• The US Geological Survey offers this handy overview of what GIS does and how it works
• a recent video explains the role of the military in developing GIS

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