MapAction provides a critically important service for natural disasters. Within 48 hours of an emergency, they can mobilize a team of volunteers to the affected location. The team uses Global Positioning Systems to produce real-time maps that can be immediately used for rescue and relief operations. Once these emergency operations are complete, the maps can be used for reconstruction planning. MapAction began Sri Lankan efforts in late December 2004. More information about MapAction can be found at the website: www.mapaction.org.
Ray O'Connor, president of Topcon Positioning Systems, responded to a request for the GIS instruments by Rob Lorimer of Position One Consulting. Lorimer is a senior partner in the firm, which offers specialized consulting services to the Geospatial Industry and companies using related applications. Lorimer volunteers time and resources to MapAction. Peter Wallace, Sales Manager of Topcon's Survey and GPS Division, expedited shipping of the instruments from the company's headquarters in Livermore, California.
Topcon's GMS-100 GIS Data Collection System is a lightweight backpack-style instrument that is rugged and highly portable, making it effective for mapping in debris and disturbed areas.
Source: Topcon, Feb. 18, 2005