GIS: Where are we?

GIS: Where are we?

Last Friday I presented to the London trainee and Student GIS Community who were discussing ‘Geographical Information Systems for Natural Hazards Preparedness and Response’.

I was second on the agenda following an interesting presentation from Dr Richard Teewu at Portsmouth University, who talked about his approach and the role of GIS in considering landslide hazards in Dominica (Caribbean). One of the main aspects that Richard highlighted was the issue of data poverty in the developing world. In the questions that followed his talk, it became clear that this is a particular issue where infrastructure or political regime prevents continual monitoring or the use of remotely sensed data.

My presentation, which is included below, explored how GIS is currently used in London for resilience work, and provided my personal views on where I thought it could head over the next ten years.

What struck me about the two presentations is that whilst the UK can’t be considered data poor, there are other factors which limit the use of GIS in a resilience context. One of the aspects that my presentation touched on was the increasing role of volunteer and informal initiatives (such as Crisismappers and Ushahidi) and I’m convinced that this is an untapped resource that has lots to offer.

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