Australia: New South Wales launches GIS Emergency Response System

NASA's Terra satellite image of flooded communities in Australia
Flooded communities in New South Wales, Australia in November 2011.
Credits: NASA

New South Wales State Emergency Services (NSW SES) launched a new mapping system to help emergency responders coordinate better rescue operations. It allows volunteers on the ground to instantly share real-time information.

The system was first used in 2013 during floods when 20,000 people were isolated. According to NSW State Emergency Service GIS Manager Elliot Simmons the maps were used successfully on site and the project is now extended to 229 units throughout the State.

With previous systems, emergency responders had to be online and connected to the NSW SES network to receive geospatial data. The new mapping system enables them to share information about infrastructure and evacuation on the ground in real time.

With this information available, the authorities will make more informed decisions in shorter time which will improve the response time and people’s safety.