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Working on Spatial Data quality and pragmatic enterprise solutions.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bushfire Connect - Trust, Transparency & Timeliness

Today I presented Bushfire Connect to the 'Innovative Emergency Management' conference in Sydney. During this two-day conference, several speakers brought up issues around community resilience, the changing behavioural and technological context for Emergency Managers and the need for communities to self-organise in the face of more frequent and more extreme natural disasters.

All this was a perfect lead-in for Bushfire Connect. As the slides show (see below), I was able to segue in with a quote from an earlier speaker Craig Lapsley, Victorian Fire Services Commissioner, who said that "there is a need for change", and "...empower communities with Timely, Relevant and Tailored information".

Bushfire Connect does exactly that: collecting and sharing timely and relevant information, and delivering tailored alerts to the community.

It was very encouraging to find fertile ground among the audience consisting largely of hard-core Emergency Managers. Positive experiences, questions and suggestions from the room. Would we have seen the same response 12 months ago?

Who knows. One thing is for sure, with every disaster, from Queensland to Christchurch and Japan, the role of Social media is increasing and becoming more and more sophisticated.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Atlas of NSW a Pleasant Surprise

Last month, the NSW government launched its online Atlas (in Beta). Developed under the radar, it would have taken many by surprise. And surprise me it did. Not in the least because government mapping sites, especially in NSW, need to be viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion. With a few exceptions, we have over the years been underwhelmed with clunky, slow, unusable and unmaintained mapping initiatives that – if they are still around – are gathering dust, rather than servicing taxpayers.

So I had a look at the NSW Atlas with some trepidation and maybe a little sense of impending doom. However, I was pleasantly surprised with that I saw, though there are a few concerns.