New Braunfels Earns International Award for Emergency Management GIS Application

New Braunfels –

The City of New Braunfels earned special recognition recently, with a Special Achievement award for its innovative application of technology, data collection, and geospatial information visualization through GIS in the field of local government.  Specifically, the Environmental Systems Research Institute recognized New Braunfels for their applications of Geographic Information Systems in Emergency Management. The new system, improves the City’s ability to monitor, track, and respond to events such as flooding; and will also provide an enhanced method for historical archiving of emergency events. 

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The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ERSI), a world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, presented the City of New Braunfels with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award June 29th at their annual User Conference. Selected from over 300,000 eligible candidates, the City received the award for its innovative application of technology, data collection, geospatial information visualization, and thoughtful leadership through GIS in the field of local government – specifically for their Emergency Management GIS application.

            “The SAG Awards serve a great purpose,” said ESRI founder and President Jack Dangermond. “A Special Achievement in GIS Award recognizes best practices for organizations implementing technology to change the world.”

            “The City of New Braunfels was one of 167 organizations in fields such as agriculture, defense, transportation, non-profit, telecommunications, and state and local government to receive a SAG Award,” said Greg Brown, GIS Manager for the City. “ESRI staff nominate thousands of candidates annually from around the world for consideration and it is a great honor to be chosen for these awards.”

            Brown went on to explain, “The GIS Emergency Management application focuses on road closure map updates during significant rain events or other emergencies.  In an effort to improve information being deployed to the public, we designed and implemented a location-based solution for identifying and updating road closures in the field using mobile map technology.  City personnel in charge of putting up or taking down the barricades during the event will now update the map status using a smart phone and the information is immediately recorded in a database.  The public, along with emergency management staff, can see the updates in a matter of seconds.  The solution streamlines the process, allowing resources to be allocated during an event in order to maximize response efforts.  The solution improves the City’s ability to monitor, track and respond to events and will also provide an enhanced method for historical archiving of emergency events.”

            To view all the City GIS maps/applications available to the public, visit www.nbtexas.org/maps.​

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