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You are here: Homepage > Press Room > Press Releases 2014 > HMCI Teams up for GIS Day

Maps and geographical information systems have a wide range of applications in field of disaster management.

Published 21st November 2014, 5:6pm

Hazard Management Cayman Islands joined Lands and Survey and other Government Departments in celebrating National Geographic Information Systems Day on November 20th. The event was held at the University College of the Cayman Islands. Hundreds of students from schools across Grand Cayman visited the event, and learned about the relevance of geographical information and maps for a wide variety of applications. Geographical Information Systems is used in Disaster Management to develop storm surge scenarios and displaying the results from tsunami run up models and analysis. GIS data can be used to provide layers of information about estimated sea level rise and the points where rising sea levels may impact roads and properties. GIS data can also assist in the response effort after an impact. For example GIS Data includes a repository of information relating to construction types, housing values, elevation and setbacks for properties, so this information may be useful in determining the expected level of impact and the financial cost of a hurricane or earthquake, and this may then help determine where to focus response and relief efforts. In the Cayman Islands, GIS is used by many Government Departments. These include 911 Public Safety Communications to locate residents, the police to track crime, the Department of Agriculture to keep track of pests, Mosquito Research and Control Unit for specific areas of spray, HMCI to conduct hazard assessment and respond to hazardous events, Department of Environment, Lands and Survey as well as many private businesses to keep track of their cars. Real estate agents also use GIS to locate land parcels as well as to keep track of property sales and valuations. In other words, GIS has many important applications and is a useful tool in critical areas such as hazard mitigation and planning.