New Trends in Geospatial Intelligence Will Aid Emergency Preparedness and Response

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) has released a free downloadable report that looks at building resilient communities ahead of and in the aftermath of natural and man-made emergencies.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security selected USGIF to explore the rapidly evolving domain of geospatial intelligence as it relates to community resilience. The resulting report, Building Resilient Communities Through Geospatial Intelligence, indicates that geospatial intelligence has emerged as a uniquely valuable tool for disaster management, demonstrating tangible benefits toward enhancing capabilities and infrastructure in the advent of more frequent, increasingly catastrophic disasters. Geospatial intelligence technologies and applications are rapidly proliferating, becoming more readily available, strengthening overall resilience, and enabling the next generation of public safety professionals.

A resilient response to the future should be forward-looking, not just with respect to resiliency as a topic, but with respect to the potential advances afforded by the advent of new geospatial technologies. Integration of new and emerging geospatial technologies will aid the development of resiliency through improved analytic capabilities.

Known future technical trends covered in the report include applications and telemetry to support next-generation first responders to keep them more protected, connected, and secure through geo-enabled textiles, personal protective equipment, personal surveillance devices, and situational awareness capabilities such as UAVs.

GEOINT-enabled tracking devices are also expected to facilitate new innovations in logistics, supply chain, and mutual aid that will better speed needed aid to the right place at the right time before, during, and after a disaster. GEOINT-enabled building materials will also become available and be able to detect fragilities as well as monitor integrity and instability in concert with larger GEOINT sensor and observation systems.

The report includes articles on critical infrastructure protection, emergency communications, climate change, case studies, lessons from the military and the developing world.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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