GIS / Spatial Data and Information Use in Disasters
Science and technology have long since found their way into the field of disaster management. This does not however, mean that technical solutions will necessarily succeed in having an impact on the outcome of a disaster.
Most if not all disasters have a distinct spatial aspect, location of impacted areas for example is of primary importance to any disaster management situation. This and other important information, such as accessibility to the area, availability of assistance, and operational status, can be systematically assessed if relevant spatial data are available and information systems, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applied. Decision making tools are useful in responding systematically and methodically to a situation if the use of technology is appropriate.
The key to the development of appropriate technology and appropriate use of technology, is when technicians with an understanding of user needs along with practitioners with knowledge of technology work together with eventual or potential end users of the system.