The New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors (NYSAPLS) 52nd Annual Surveyors Conference and Exhibition
was held Wednesday 19th
through Friday 21st
of January 2011 at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The conference was exceptionally hosted and despite the snow storms and economic backdrop – was well attended. Courses included Environment and Ethical Issues in Land Development, An Introduction to the new 2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards, Future of the National Spatial Reference System as well as CST Exams and much more. On the GIS front, Point of Beginning’s July2010 Issue – Data and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
sparked interest into the inner workings of GIS within a disaster setting. As a result the course was keenly recommended as a continuing education credited session for the conference by Jennifer Mauer, NYSAPLS Director.
Presenting this course to an audience of surveyors, planners, and attorneys, engineers and GIS professionals of varying levels of GIS expertise was particularly challenging. Participants needed to appreciate the value of GIS, while understanding how the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
fueled the coordination of efforts during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The course was divided into three main parts in order to deliver on that goal. Participants were first re-introduced to components of a GIS: hardware, software, data, people, and process. Each component contained a reflection on the past, a flash forward to today, and what one could expect under similar emergency response circumstances. Secondly, the class was introduced to NIMS, its history, structure, certifications, and how these GIS components functioned under its umbrella. The third segment integrated both GIS and NIMS into a personal experience of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Then, after an enthusiastic question and answer session, the attendees were able to visibly identify each GIS component and gain an appreciation for the purpose of NIMS. Participants left the session knowing what they can expect if they themselves were called on to support an emergency response effort.
Since the conference, Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors (ASPS)
among others have expressed their interest in the course. If your organization is interested in presenting Deepwater Horizon - The GIS Response, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org