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3 Reasons GIS Mapping is the Hero in Foul Weather

Posted by Jay Fowler on Jan 27, 2016 5:31:32 PM

The winter months are high time for treacherous weather around the country. Whether you’re gearing up for the Nor'easters of New England, the Lake Effect of the Midwest, or the few inches of snow down south that cause their own havoc, there is no better way to be prepared than having relevant GIS mapping strategies in place to respond quickly when weather strikes. There are few ways as efficient to keep track of storm courses and the damage they often leave behind them than the numerous tools available through GIS mapping. Not only are the tools more efficient, but they’re also mobile, allowing you to solve problems on-the-go.

Here are three things that make GIS mapping the ideal way to keep track of bad weather and its aftermath.

  1. Documentation
    GIS can capture incidents and document what happened and when in real time. Whether it was a burst pipe, or roof damage from strong winds, GIS mapping capabilities are incredibly useful when bad weather strikes, helping you figure out where incidents occur and if they are actually weather related. Many organizations find themselves in a bind after a big weather event, scrambling to do inventories as quickly as possible so they can get the funding from federal and state governments they will need. With GIS mapping, they are able to cut down the amount of time they are spending collecting and documenting the facts, and instead offer clean and clear images of all the damage. Using GIS mapping for things like water main leaks near roads and sidewalks would similarly help governments work to stop the leak or proactively put down sand/salt in preparation for big storms.
  2. Management
    Where do you cut water for a broken sprinkler system? As opposed to relying on a physical file folder at the office twenty minutes away you could pull the information up on-site using your GIS mapping software and immediately know how to stop water flowing to a burst line. Are you looking for a way to keep track of the bridges that typically freeze? This is a great item to inventory and store in a GIS mapping program for stormy days so you can offer caution to the public.
  3. Communication
    GIS can allow you to share spatial views and information throughout your organization. Oftentimes this information is difficult to communicate over the phone, with one person laboring to describe plots on a map while the other searches aimlessly for them. But with GIS mapping, everyone can be looking at the same image on their mobile phones or tablets. Simply shoot someone a link to a map displaying a problem area and enjoy the unencumbered communication of technology coming to the rescue. 

GIS mapping systems are incredibly helpful in a pinch, allowing organizations both corporate and governmental to streamline their operations when it really counts. Useful both for taking preventative measures, as well as responding quickly to the disaster, there is no better investment to make that will ensure long-term savings for your organization if you, like so many of us, are beholden to the winds.

Call ROK for our expertise on how GIS mapping will save you on the next snow day.


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