While it’s still early for most of us to be thinking about the 2020 Census, it is not too early for the U.S. Census and most technology providers of Census software to be considering how to prepare.
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CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, recently announced the launch of its new publicly-accessible risk information resource center, Hazard HQ(tm). This new information hub will offer individuals, media and companies high-level analyses and up-to-date data insights on the immediate risks natural catastrophes pose to properties across the country.
The latest risk summary for Hazard HQ focuses on the ongoing California wildfires. As comprehensive risk assessment needs increase alongside growing economic losses from natural catastrophes, Hazard HQ offers a high-level risk perspective for individuals and companies who wish to understand how hazards like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe convective storms, wildfires, wind and volcanic activity can impact their regions.
Senior leader of content and strategy for CoreLogic, Maiclaire Bolton Smith, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the new resource center and how it is dedicated to offering catastrophe insights about events while they are happening.
Does Hazard HQ take in citizen information?
No, it focuses on information from CoreLogic. Corelogic can provide insight and information, whether wildfire, hurricane, earthquake or flooding, and offers insights on number of properties that could be at risk, or on an area that could be impacted and the home value that could be lost. No information is pulled from citizens. It’s our opportunity to share information with others to help them protect themselves and be able to restore from financial catastrophe.
It really evolved as a way for us to share information easily.
We’ve had all these devastating wildfires this summer already. We always try to learn from the events that have happened. We’ll always be providing more information on research. For example, with regard to the wildfire that happened in Sonoma County, California last year that impacted Santa Rosa, over the past six months we’ve done a lot of research looking at the reconstruction from that wildfire and the state of the homes being rebuilt and looking at some of the insurance impacts and implications from that event happening. An event doesn’t end when an event ends, it’s a long process afterwards to really recover from it, so we will continue to share more information on an ongoing basis as we continue to research events.
How do you expect risk analysis you’ve done last year is going to impact or help in the assessment of the damage of the Mendocino fire, as an example, right now?
The biggest factor is that it brings awareness to the impact that these devastating events do have. We hear about the hundreds of thousands of acres burned, but a lot of times the fires are burning in remote areas and there are not a lot of properties at risk. It’s devastating to see the area burned, but what we want to focus on is bringing awareness to insurers and other people about where there are homes and properties at risk, and focus on the human aspects of it. What people can take away from our previous research, is
- Being prepared for hazards that could happen, whether it be a flood, earthquake, hurricane, etc. We’re prone to disasters all the time in various parts of the country.
- Awareness of the events that can happen, and our main goal is to work with insurance companies and help them understand what properties are valued at to be able to insure properties properly.
- The general public needs to know they need insurance for a lot of these hazards. Insurance can really help them recover from events when they do happen. Hopefully they won’t be impacted but if they are, to know their risk and to be able to accelerate their recovery is a huge bonus.
Say a customer is obtaining insurance for things they expect but what about these events that happen way beyond anyone’s expectations?
Unfortunately, those rare events are the wild card that are really beyond planning scenarios. I’m actually a seismologist by training and I spend a lot of time training people to know their earthquake risk. I always say the number one thing people can do to prepare for an earthquake, is believe that it can happen, and that’s the same with all disasters. The possibility is there that it may occur. These are hard for people to conceptualize and plan for.
At CoreLogic we do risk modeling where we look at the range of events that can happen – the more common events to the very extreme events. That’s the information we provide to insurance companies, including what could the worst-case scenario even look like.
I have spoken to CoreLogic many times. In the past the company has said with the fires we’re expecting an increase in losses to homes because people have built closer to forests, and forests are not cleared as often, we run the higher risk.
Robby Deming, Media Strategy Manager for Esri, created a Story Map of the stadiums played in during the 2018 World Cup. Also, DigitalGlobe, who provided the high-resolution satellite imagery for the story map, offered valuable background on the collection of the imagery and how it would serve other industries besides the World Cup itself.
Sandi Stroud, associate vice president, Public Safety GIS DATAMARK, spoke with GISCafe Voice about DATAMARK, the public safety GIS division of Michael Baker International, and the recent launch of DATAMARK DATAMARK VEP (Validate-Edit-Provision), its new software-as-a-service GIS solution that validates, edits and provisions GIS data. To solve incomplete or poor-quality GIS data challenges, DATAMARK developed DATAMARK VEP to provide highest levels of public safety GIS data completeness and accuracy in the nation’s nearly 5,000 public safety answering points. The new solution is for both current 9-1-1 systems and the transition to next generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems and is augmented with GIS technical services and an expanded DATAMARK team that includes public safety and GIS professionals. NG9-1-1 is an initiative to update the 9-1-1 service infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada to improve public emergency response in a mobile society.
“This year Michael Baker formalized the public safety GIS division, grown into our own line of purposeful business within the company. And our staff has grown. But under DATAMARK we really are a suite of solutions and services. We have really built our team over the last six months to not just address GIS professionals but a lot of folks who have spent their entire careers in public safety and 9-1-1. And part of the reason for that is that we understand there’s a bit of translation that has to happen, depending upon whether we are working with a public safety or GIS client. Our staff is really involved in NG9-1-1 standards and participation in groups. Several of my staff including myself have helped author NG9-1-1 workshops for URISA. We launched that about three years ago at the GIS Pro conference in Washington, taught the workshop about twelve times since, and in fact we’re teaching the workshop at the Esri conference this year, so it’ll be free to conference goers.
We’re very focused on being able to be the GIS experts for NG9-1-1. In addition, we do offer comprehensive technical services, and then we also have solutions that are SaaS solutions. The approach we’ve taken is how can we take a product that helps a GIS stakeholder or data provider support the next gen 9-1-1 requirements, which is maybe a heavier lift than the normal business process they currently support. In addition to the solutions, we’ve also developed a service deliverable that we call a DATAMARK VEP. It allows us to help a 9-1-1 jurisdiction take a step back and look at a solution and really assess what it is they need to address in order to address their public safety or 9-1-1 solution.
What is the difference between traditional 9-1-1 and NG9-1-1?
The current 9-1-1 system – the process of getting the 9-1-1 caller to the right 9-1-1 center. You’ve dialed the 9-1-1 center and are waiting to talk to the dispatcher who sends you help. There is the process of identifying which center based on where you’re at. There is tabular location data that is used to take the location and do a database lookup, it’s not a geocoding exercise. Based on an attribute in that file, it determines where to send your call. In the 9-1-1 center you have your CAD dispatch center, you have a call taking system, and vehicle routing system. All these can use GIS, but we’ve found it’s very inconsistently applied. Some do not use GIS in those systems, they maintain a separate spatial file within those systems. There are a lot of silos that currently exist between how GIS is used in the 9-1-1 center and the tabular data that is currently being used to decide what center a call goes to.
Pitney Bowes data and software solutions today announced a major expansion of their solutions, adding location to Big Data to perform location analytics, to give organizations a better understanding of their customers. The announcement is three-pronged: Big Data Module for the flagship solution Spectrum, Addressing and GeoEnrichment Data Portfolio and Conform Solution Suite.
For several years, colleges, universities and some geospatial vendors have been offering online classes in various capacities. As companies offer fewer training courses within their facilities, and professionals have less time to travel to classes, we have seen the rise of these courses offered by universities and even software companies. What do these classes contribute to the whole educational fabric of GIS?