Hurricane Katrina: Special Report and References

September 9, 2005
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Read POB's special report on Hurricane Katrina, learn how to help surveyors displaced by the disaster, and more...

We at POB extend our deepest condolences to the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina. This page has been created as a reference for information and a source for aiding the surveying community affected by the disaster.

Special POB Report on Hurricane Katrina

Click HERE to read the POB eNews with a Special Report on Hurricane Katrina (dated 9-7-05).

Jobs for Katrina Survivors

POB's Classified Ads now features a section for those whose jobs have been displaced temporarily or permanently from the hurricane. Click HERE to access POB's classifieds for Katrina survivors.

Employers seeking to hire displaced surveyors should send details to Jan Wesch at weschj@bnpmedia.com. Please include as much detailed information as possible about available housing accommodations, food vouchers, etc.

Education for Katrina Survivors

Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) of Kalispell, Montana, will provide one year of free tuition to community college students who are vicitims of Hurricane Katrina. The FVCC Surveying/Geomatics program is ready to participate in this effort and anxious integrate surveying students into its program.

For more information, contact:

David L. Dorsett
Surveying Instructor
Flathead Valley Community College
Kalispell, MT 59901
406/756-3913
ddorsett@fvcc.edu

Donation Links

SurveyingZone has established a Land Surveyors and Mappers Relief Fund through the NSPS Foundation. Tax-deductible donations are requested for the targeted goal of providing for surveyors and mappers affected by the disaster.

The NSPS Foundation offers the NSPS Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS)
Many MAPPS firms were completely wiped out, business and personal possessions ruined, and jobs indefinitely lost. To meet the needs of the devastasted families of MAPPS member firms, MAPPS has set up a Katrina Relief Fund.

The fund will be administered by the Institute for GIS Studies (IGISS) and its Foundation.

The fund will accept contributions, and the IGISS Board will administer and distribute funds to individual employees of MAPPS member firms who are homeless or displaced due to the hurricane. These funds will be distributed to individuals and their families to help them with living expenses in their transition back to a permanent home. No funds will go directly to any firm.

All administrative costs of this fund are being provided pro bono. One hundred percent of the monies collected will go to employees' families of MAPPS member firms. Contributions may be made by check (payable to The IGISS Foundation) and sent to:
The IGISS Foundation
357 Riverside Drive, Suite 100
Franklin, Tennessee 37064

Note in the memo section of the check: MAPPS Katrina Relief Fund.

Informational Links

For a timeline on Hurricane Katrina, click HERE.

For real-time imagery, click to the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.

For local New Orleans television news, click HERE.

Industry News

Thales Navigation, Santa Clara, Calif., its professional products and Magellan consumer business, provided hundreds of GPS units to search and rescue teams, government agencies and local authorities in the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Thales donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross.

"The loss of life and property as a result of Hurricane Katrina deeply saddened all of us at Thales," said Amanda Higgins, senior director of corporate communications. "We found ourselves asking how we can help and do so most efficiently. Our answer was to immediately put GPS units in the hands of rescue teams, including Bear Search & Rescue, Convoy of Hope and many others headed to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region."

Thales donated a wide range of its products, including its Magellan GPS handhelds, Magellan RoadMate portable vehicle navigation systems and MobileMapper Pro GIS/GPS data collectors.

ESRI Provides Hurricane Katrina And Rita Help

ESRI is actively assisting organizations, government agencies, and official disaster relief efforts that need help in responding to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Click on these links for more:
Find data, resources, and request help
Geodata.gov-Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina Disaster Viewer

Leica Geosystems
Leica Geosystems announced that it is actively supporting government agencies and disaster relief organizations responding to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Several Leica Geosystems employees have responded to the catastrophe by working with state, local, federal and nonprofit organizations to provide spatial expertise and humanitarian support. These individuals have provided training to state disaster management agencies, support to federal departments, and assistance to international organizations. Atlanta-based employees of Leica Geosystems have additionally participated in a local charity drive to collect school supplies for the evacuees that are now enrolled in metropolitan Atlanta schools.

Leica Geosystems equipment, personnel, temporary software licenses, training and technical support, and other assistance are available for any organization with geospatial information needs while participating in the relief effort. Products provided include: Leica GS20 Professional Data Mapper, Leica DSW700 Digital Scanning Workstation, Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor, ERDAS IMAGINE, Leica Photogrammetry Suite, Image Analysis for ArcGIS and Stereo Analyst for ArcGIS.

These have been employed to collect and process geospatial data for mapping applications to support search and rescue mission. Additionally, Leica Geosystems can facilitate: classification of satellite imagery to show the advance/retreat of water; assessment and orthorectification of before/after images to assist in relief efforts (such as identifying unobstructed roads or routes); 3D visualization to help with understanding spatial relationships; creation of maps for printing or linking to a GPS for field work and navigation; and analysis of thermal-band imagery to identify trapped survivors.

DigitalGlobe's Satellite Imagery Supports Hurricane Katrina Relief
DigitalGlobe QuickBird satellite imagery is being used to support several relief efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina. San Diego State University (SDSU) partnered with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) to aid relief efforts in impacted regions, and ImageCat teamed with Risk Management Solutions (RMS) to map wind, storm surge and flooding damage resulting from the hurricane.

DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite collected 60-centimeter resolution imagery of New Orleans, La. on Aug. 31, just two days after Hurricane Katrina struck, and again on Sept. 3, nearly one week later. The imagery shows flooding extent, levee break locations and damage to structures such as bridges and buildings. It also pinpoints landmarks such as the Louisiana Superdome. Imagery was also collected over Biloxi, Miss. and the surrounding region. Imagery collected over the same New Orleans and Biloxi regions in March 2004 created critical capabilities for comparing the landscape and infrastructure of the Gulf Coast region before and after the disaster occurred. Images can be viewed at www.digitalglobe.com/katrina_gallery.html.

SDSU's Viz Center and Calit2 used the imagery initially to assess the damage and support clean-up efforts by enabling a regional situational awareness campaign for the detailed damage to infrastructure and personal property. The imagery can also be used to estimate impacts on public health due to water volume, damaged infrastructure and storm debris. The imagery is now being used to support response and reconstruction efforts by front-line responders and command-center groups, including the National Red Cross. Displayed as Web-based interactive maps, the imagery supports initiatives by the National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (NIUSR, www.niusr.org) to assist with the recovery effort by integrating location information about housing and people.

SDSU initiated the creation of an online clearinghouse, katrina.telascience.org, to house imagery and geographic information systems data related to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. By typing in a New Orleans- or Biloxi-area street address, the user is able to view satellite imagery of an area of interest. Three-dimensional image displays were created in GeoFusion, whose GeoMatrix format enables rapid flythrough of more than 10 terabytes of data. Additional processing on the SGI Prism has transformed the large image files into a format that can be served up to millions of viewers per day over a standard Internet connection.

ImageCat and the RMS catastrophe response team used QuickBird imagery and ImageCat's handheld VIEWS reconnaissance system to map and assess damage caused by wind, storm surge and flooding in New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast region.

One day after the hurricane made landfall, ImageCat used an airplane to fly over the region and record the devastation using ImageCat's VIEWS field data collection and visualization system. Geo-referenced video and still photographs recorded the initial storm flooding and subsequent overtopping of the levees that surround New Orleans. This information provided some of the earliest indications of the extensive damage.

ImageCat then mapped in detail the full extent of flooding in New Orleans using high-resolution satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe, viewed the hurricane's effects using the VIEWS visualization mode, and provided RMS with storm surge damage maps for the Mississippi coast. This information helped the RMS team calibrate initial damage and loss estimates for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans regions.

Share Your Thoughts

RPLS.com now features the category "Natural Disasters" for those wishing to support the relief and recovery efforts, help in finding friends and family members, and discuss matters of the day.

Please contact POB's editors with your thoughts about and experiences regarding this natural disaster. As a communication medium, our goal is to educate on issues and to provide aid through valuable information. Help us to help others by sharing your experiences and information.

Lieca Brown, Editor
brownl@bnpmedia.com

Kimberly Jensen, Managing Editor
jensenk@bnpmedia.com

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