2008 National HAZUS Conference Update
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2008 National HAZUS Conference Update

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Industry News
2008 National HAZUS Conference Update

By Susan Smith

This year the 2008 National HAZUS User Conference was held concurrently with the ESRI User Conference 2008 in San Diego. Not surprisingly, with the largest GIS user conference in town, the HAZUS User Conference attracted nearly 400 registrants from government, research and academia, nonprofit organizations, the private sector and the international community.

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There has been much discussion in GIS circles about how communities can manage the risk to life and limb caused by predicted natural disasters. As a response to that discussion, FEMA developed HAZUS as a planning and risk assessment tool to enable communities to estimate risk in their communities before a disaster strikes. “By being proactive and adopting HAZUS, communities become well equipped with quantifiable losses that tell them what they need to do and what they can expect to help their citizens when there is a disaster,” explained Eric Berman, HAZUS program manager. HAZUS-MH is a free tool that combines science, engineering and mathematical modeling with GIS technology (ArcGIS 9.2 with Service Pack 5) to estimate potential losses of life and property—and displays those losses on a map. In addition, the product calculates, maps and displays the impacts to the physical, social, and economic climate of a community as a result of natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricane winds and floods.

At the top of the agenda at this year’s conference was a discussion of the Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) which simplifies and streamlines the process of updating and managing statewide datasets. The topics of CDMS and web-based portals are a major breakthrough for HAZUS users this year, and were reflected at the conference with an educational session and hands-on workshop for attendees to learn how to bring the technology to their own states. “Because disasters transcend county lines” said Eric Berman,?? “It’s important to have local and county level data accessible to a wide range of decision makers.”

Two states, Florida and South Carolina, are currently developing a web-based portal to facilitate access to CDMS and enable the use of statewide or county data to carry out risk assessment and mitigation planning. CDMS is available on the FEMA website..

In order to apply for hazard mitigation grant program funds, states and local jurisdictions must develop a mitigation plan, according to federal law. Hazard mitigation planning helps communities earmark the most effective policies, tools and actions to decrease risk and the subsequent potential for losses in the community. HAZUS provides a valuable foundation for developing these mitigation plans and policies, and is ultimately invaluable to decision-making at all government levels.

When mitigation plans are developed, HAZUS beneficiaries can answer questions like “How many homes would be lost if this hurricane makes landfall as a Category 3?” according to Berman.

The aspects of loss estimation that are analyzed by HAZUS include: Data used for the HAZUS flood risk model include the following: FEMA publicizes to communities that HAZUS is a planning tool that offers users the opportunity to learn to use HAZUS and to be able to use it on an ongoing basis, as technology and local data changes. The HAZUS training program is designed to put the tool into the hands of the local decision maker so communities can have control of their own community actions.

FEMA is in partnership with EMI for the resident training course, and FEMA is in partnership with ESRI for the Virtual courses as follows:

HAZUS Resident Training Program: HAZUS offers 3 ½ day resident training classes at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, MD. Courses provide instruction in all steps of the loss estimation process, from inventory verification and improvement to running a loss analysis; how to use HAZUS results for mitigation, as well as for comprehensive planning, response, and recovery activities; data management; and useful GIS concepts. Emergency managers, GIS specialists, geologists, state and local planners, consultants, and all those involved in risk assessment activities benefit from HAZUS training.
Enrollment Requirements: Course enrollment for the HAZUS-MH curriculum is at no cost for Federal, state, and local community officials. Complimentary housing considerations can be made for state and local community officials. Contact your state training officer to see if you qualify. Course participants are responsible for the cost of meals. Required meal tickets are approx. $20 per day and include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Quote from HAZUS training course: Intro to ArcGIS for HAZUS-MH Users held February 25, 2008 at EMI: “Everything I learned, I learned how and WHY I need to use that skill. Probably the most informative class I have taken.” – Anonymous student

HAZUS Web Training: HAZUS also offers Web training courses from ESRI’s Virtual Campus.

*ESRI bundles ArcView and Spatial Analyst for state and local governments FREE for 60-day period, and then users must purchase software from ESRI.

Top News of the Week

Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report related to the Telecommunication industry is available in its catalogue. World Global Positioning Systems Market This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Global Positioning Systems in Millions of US$. The major end-use applications analyzed are Land-Based Applications (In-Vehicle Navigation, Consumer Applications, Survey/Mapping Applications, & Tracking/Machine Control Applications), OEM Applications, Aviation Applications, Marine Applications, Military Applications, and Timing Applications. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World. Annual forecasts are provided for each region for the period of 2000 through 2015. The report profiles 137 companies including many key and niche players worldwide such as Fei-Zyfer, Inc., Furuno USA Inc., Garmin International, Inc., Hemisphere GPS, ITT Corp Space Systems Division, KVH Industries, Inc., Lowrance Electronics, Inc., Magellan Navigation, Inc., Mio Technology, NavCom Technology, Inc., Navman NZ Ltd., NovAtel, Inc., Orolia, Raytheon Systems Co., Rockwell Collins, Inc., SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc., Sokkia Co. Ltd., Symmetricom, Inc., TomTom International BV, Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc., and Trimble Navigation Limited. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. Company profiles are mostly extracted from URL research and reported select online sources.


Trimble announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of RolleiMetric from Rollei GmbH of Braunschweig, Germany in an all-cash transaction. RolleiMetric is a leading provider of metric camera systems for aerial imaging and terrestrial close range photogrammetry. Closing of the transaction, anticipated at the beginning of the fourth quarter, is subject to certain closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TeleNav, Inc. announced the availability of TeleNav GPS Navigator on Telcel mobile phones in Mexico. Telcel customers in select cities now have access to turn-by-turn, GPS-enabled driving directions directly from their BlackBerry 8800 and BlackBerry Curve 8310 smartphones.

Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. , one of China's leading fabless semiconductor companies that provides comprehensive mixed-signal system-on-a-chip (SoC) and multimedia digital signal processing (DSP) solutions for portable consumer electronics, announced that it has entered a strategic software agreement with China's leading GPS map provider, Ritu Information Systems, Inc. (Ritu).


Next month, GIS Professionals will convene at URISA’s 46th Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, to address the important topics of the day including inter-governmental collaboration for cost savings and efficiencies; infrastructure sustainability and asset management; enterprise solutions; disaster response and readiness; and results-oriented public participation GIS. URISA's 46th Annual Conference: October 7-10, 2008 - New Orleans
For conference details, visit the website.

GeoEye, Inc. announced the Company had received notice from Nasdaq that as a result of filing its restated financial reports and current quarterly report on Form 10Q on Sept. 8, all compliance issues have been resolved, and GeoEye remains in good standing on The Nasdaq Global Market exchange. Consequently, GeoEye's mid-October hearing before a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel has been cancelled since the issue is now moot.

The GMES Forum 2008, entitled “Together, take better care of the Planet”, organized by the European Commission and the current French Presidency of the European Union on September 16th and 17th in Lille, will mark the launch of the first GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) geo-information services in a pre-operational mode.

The geoland2 consortium of 50 service providers, users, and research institutions will take this opportunity to officially kick-off this major undertaking. For the first time in Europe’s history, major operational resources and assets from a comprehensive range of previous GMES projects will join to build a common European service capacity. Web: www.gmes-geoland.info/www.land.eu

MetaCarta, Inc. announced that it will be hosting its 4th Annual Public Sector User Group Meeting on October 8th, 2008. The Meeting, which will take place at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia, welcomes Keynote Speaker Jeff Vining, Research Vice President at Gartner Research, who will deliver a talk entitled "Lessons Learned from Virginia Tech: How To Communicate In A Crisis."

Seoul-based JiguSoft Inc. has been appointed the master distributor of ERDAS Inc. for the Republic of Korea. This relationship allows ERDAS to participate more effectively in the Korean market, as JiguSoft will facilitate expedited processing of resellers’ orders. Additionally, resellers will avoid the additional shipping and handling charges that may increase the cost of orders shipped directly from the United States.

New Products

ERDAS announced ERDAS TITAN 2009, providing more flexibility to the industry’s most unique and powerful online network for sharing data. ERDAS TITAN 2009 provides true interoperability to leading geospatial solutions, including ERDAS IMAGINE, ERDAS Image Web Server, ERDAS APOLLO and ArcGIS.

Pitney Bowes Group 1 Software introduced EngageOne Interactive Communications, a new solution that expands the capabilities of the Company’s Customer Communications Management (CCM) Suite. EngageOne Interactive enables business users to easily create, deliver, and manage real-time personalized, interactive customer communications, such as correspondence, new business applications and negotiated documents, across the enterprise.

Idevio announced that the photos of the web community Panoramio can be viewed in Locago Panoramio is a community photos website that enables digital photographers to geo-locate, store and organize their photographs. The uploaded Panoramio photos can be accessed as layer in Google Earth, Google Maps and now also in Locago.

Caliper Corporation is now shipping the latest version of Maptitude for Redistricting, the leading software for congressional, state legislative, and local government redistricting. Maptitude for Redistricting has defined the redistricting software market since its introduction in 1997. Designed with the help of redistricting professionals from many of the state legislatures, Maptitude for Redistricting is reliable, feature-rich, and easy to learn.

Navevo has announced the launch of BBNav, the first dedicated Blue Badge sat-nav solution, specifically designed to support disabled drivers and those caring for the disabled, such as their families or careers.

ObjectFX, a leading geospatial solutions provider, has announced the availability of its military and homeland security symbology module, a scalable, flexible web-based solution based on the Department of Defense Standard 2525B, as well as standard Homeland Security symbology, that can be implemented with any geospatial platform, including ESRI and Google technologies

Adapx announced that GIS teams can use Capturx Forms for Excel to collect asset attribute data in the field for easy integration into ArcGIS. GIS teams have long used Capturx for ArcGIS to speed up mapping and GIS data collection in the filed using paper maps and digital pens. Capturx Forms for Excel now provides even more options for GIS teams, enabling asset attribute data to be collected and edited on paper forms for import into ArcGIS using a digital pen and Excel. Field professionals enjoy the convenience of collecting data with pen and paper while GIS analysts benefit from immediate access to data without having to transcribe data or wait for paper.

Around the Web

Data Visualization



2008 ESRI Health GIS Conference
Date: September 28 - October 1, 2008
Place: Renaissance Washington DC
Join us for the 2008 ESRI Health GIS Conference and learn firsthand how health and human services organizations are using GIS to shape global health. Hear from thought leaders knowledgeable in the value of GIS and see what geospatial solutions can do for you in your line of work. From applying GIS to a problem, issue, or clinical practice to developing an enterprise-wide approach, this conference is your opportunity to explore how important GIS technology is to health and human services professionals.
FOSS4G 2008
Date: September 29 - October 3, 2008
Place: Cape Town Convention Center
Cape Town , South Africa
The 2008 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference gathers developers and users of open source geo-spatial software from around the world to discuss new directions, exciting implementations, and growing business opportunities in the field of open source geo-spatial software.
14th ARSPC
Date: September 29 - October 3, 2008
Place: Darwin, Australia

The Spatial Sciences Institute’s Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (RS & P) Commission and the 14ARSPC Organising Committee, look forward to welcoming all delegates to the 14ARSPC in Darwin, Northern Territory, held from 29 September-3 October 2008.

The first of the ARSPC biennial series was held in 1979. It is exciting that for the first time in the conference’s 29 year history, it will be held in Australia’s most northern tropical city, Darwin . The ARSPC is the RS&P Commission’s premier conference showcasing the best of Australasia’s technical and application driven remote sensing and photogrammetry research. The conference also plays an important role in presenting research and future directions from around the globe to RS&P Commission members and the wider Australasian spatial community.

Date: September 30 - October 2, 2008
Place: Bremen, Germany

INTERGEO is the world’s largest event and communication platform for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. The trade fair and conference cover all the key trends that crop up along the entire value-added chain – from geo-based information surveys and data processing to integrated applications.

ESRI Latin America User Conference
Date: October 1 - 3, 2008
Place: Hotel Grand Hyatt Santiago
Chile , USA

ESRI Chile tiene el agrado de invitarlo a participar en la XV Conferencia de Usuarios Latinoamericanos de ESRI que se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de Santiago de Chile, entre el 1º y 3 de Octubre de 2008.

18th Annual Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference and Workshops
Date: October 1 - 3, 2008
Place: Mayo Civic Center
Rochester, MN USA

The event will feature structured workshops, technical sessions, panel discussions, technology demonstrations, project updates and national speakers. All are geared toward professionals interested in learning more about geographic information systems and land information systems technology in Minnesota and beyond.

15th Annual South Florida GIS Expo
Date: October 2 - 3, 2008
Place: Palm Beach County
650 Okeechobee Bouleva, West Palm Beach, FL USA

The South Florida GIS Expo has long been a happy place for networking with other GIS professionals and as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary, this year's Expo will be the best yet. These are new and challenging times we live in. We must find new and diverse ways to solve the problems of today and GIS is on the cutting edge.

24th Annual New York State GIS Conference
Date: October 5 - 7, 2008
Place: Holiday Inn
Liverpool, NY USA

The conference has a long standing tradition of providing attendees with an opportunity to meet fellow New Yorkers active in the GIS field, exchange information and real experiences, and seek solutions to your geographic data management needs. Professional networking opportunities help you develop a network of fellow GIS users which will continue through the years. In the exhibit area, GIS vendors and consultants display the latest in GIS hardware, software, analytical techniques, and services.

What’s New In MapInfo Professional v9.5
Date: October 7, 2008
Place: The Queen Mary 1126 Queen's Highway

If you are an existing MapInfo Professional customer or a GIS specialist, you will not want to miss the overview session on MapInfo Professional  version 9.5. Take a detailed view of the new capabilities and functions now available to you. See live demos of the new features such as CAD-like  tools, .NET programmability, support for SQL Server 2008, a sneak peak at  vector translucency and much more.  Then join the Pitney Bowes MapInfo 
Product Management team for a session where you will have the opportunity to provide personal and direct input on future product enhancements.

2008 AGI Users' Conference
Date: October 7 - 9, 2008
Place: Schaumburb

Attend the 2008 AGI Users' Conference for "total access" to software demonstrations and innovations, user presentations, hands-on training, technical seminars, subject matter experts, and keynote speakers Brig Gen (ret) Duane Deal and NASA Astronaut Capt. Alan Bean. Download the event guide for a detailed conference agenda and secure your space at  www.agiuc.com.

URISA 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition
Date: October 7 - 10, 2008
Place: Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 USA

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a nonprofit association of professionals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to solve challenges in state / provincial and local government agencies and departments. URISA is considered to be the premier organization for the use and integration of spatial information technology to improve the quality of life in urban and regional enviroments.

AGIC 2008 Geospatial Education & Training Symposium
Date: October 8 - 10, 2008
Place: Prescott Resort and Conference Center
Prescott, AZ USA

This year's event will be held at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, October 8-10. Experience GIS at its best this summer in the mile-high city of Prescott, Arizona. Three days of workshops, technical demonstrations, and activities presented by national and local professionals will keep you and your staff current on the latest GIS technologies.

Explore vendor exhibits and network with GIS professionals from across the State. Learn about developments and challenges in a rapidly changing industry and share your own insights into the world of GIS. Participate in the poster gallery to showcase your latest project, attend the workshops to fine-tune your GIS skills, or keep up to date with old friends. 

Canalys Navigation Forum 2008 - San Francisco
Date: October 14 - 15, 2008
Place: The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay,
San Francisco, CA USA

This event will focus presentations and panels on the Americas region while learning from the experiences elsewhere. An exclusive C-level delegate list drawn from operators, navigation hardware and software, channel organizations, content and advertising companies, financial analysts and press will gain invaluable insight into the future of this sector in the region. Coupled with this will be excellent opportunities to network with existing or future business partners, including the Canalys Navigation Golf Challenge tournament to be held on the exceptional Half Moon Bay course.

9th GLOBALGAP Conference "Summit2008"
Date: October 15 - 17, 2008
Place: Cologne, Germany






GLOBALGAP (formerly known as EUREPGAP) has established itself as a key reference for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the global market-place, by translating consumer requirements into agricultural production in a rapidly growing list of countries.


2008 ESRI Electric & Gas User Group (EGUG) Conference
Date: October 19 - 23, 2008
Place: Hyatt Grand Champions Resort
44-600 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA USA
GIS users in the electric and gas community are encouraged to attend the 2008 ESRI EGUG Conference. This gathering is your opportunity to learn how GIS innovation is helping utilities worldwide address today’s trends and challenges. Explore best practices, discover new applications, access valuable user support, and find out how you can transform knowledge into results in your utility. Whatever your type of business, position, or GIS experience, this event helps you connect with your colleagues and ESRI staff in an environment dedicated to your most pressing needs.
What’s New In MapInfo Professional v9.5
Date: October 20, 2008
Place: Tavern On the Green Central Park at West 67th Street

If you are an existing MapInfo Professional customer or a GIS specialist, you will not want to miss the overview session on MapInfo Professional  version 9.5. Take a detailed view of the new capabilities and functions now available to you. See live demos of the new features such as CAD-like  tools, .NET programmability, support for SQL Server 2008, a sneak peak at  vector translucency and much more.  Then join the Pitney Bowes MapInfo 
Product Management team for a session where you will have the opportunity to provide personal and direct input on future product enhancements.

2008 ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit
Date: October 20 - 23, 2008
Place: Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Scottsdale, AZ USA

The 2008 Homeland Security GIS Summit, the only geospatial conference dedicated to homeland security. Explore the geographic advantage for your agency and see firsthand how GIS technology facilitates communication among federal, state, local, and private sectors. Join us and learn more about transforming data and information into action.

2008 ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit
Date: October 27 - 30, 2008
Place: Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Scottsdale, AZ USA
Join ESRI at the only geospatial conference dedicated to homeland security. Come together with your colleagues to learn and share how GIS technology can be used for critical infrastructure protection, communication between sectors, and more. Essential personnel interested in learning about current GIS projects for homeland security, information networks, and collaborative opportunities are encouraged to attend this valuable forum. Hear from distinguished speakers, gain insight about actionable intelligence, and learn how to improve readiness, response, and situational awareness.
Date: October 27 - 30, 2008
Place: Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, TN USA
The annual GEOINT Symposium, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), is the Nation’s Premier Intelligence Event. Each year, more than 2,500 attendees visit GEOINT to discover cutting-edge geospatial intelligence technologies, converse with top leaders in the intelligence community, learn from academia, and network with government, industry, academic, and military leaders.
2008 ESRI Europe, Middle East, & Africa User Conference
Date: October 28 - 30, 2008
Place: Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
London, England, United Kingdom
Join us in the United Kingdom for a conference that will reflect ESRI’s vision for the future, where GIS solutions will play an increasingly vital role. Explore how GIS is impacting our everyday lives and connect with other professionals from an array of industries including conservation, education, health care, and public works. Be part of this exciting ESRI event and take away useful ideas, tools, and approaches for your line of work.