Supporting the Louisiana Community Through Innovative Application of Spatial Technology.
LA Earth client developed by Nag Inc.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has released the first public version of Google Earth Enterprise. This new software, called Louisiana Earth, will assist the citizens of Louisiana in emergency planning. By utilizing Louisiana Earth, the public will be able to access real mapping information and data during disasters.
As part of GOHSEP’s “Get a Game Plan” campaign, Louisiana Earth will assist citizens in creating evacuation plans by providing access to all of the states evacuation routes and sheltering points as well as other information essential during an evacuation such as location of and available occupancy of hotels, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, veterinary clinics and banks.
Louisiana Earth will also serve as a mechanism to relay critical data during disasters to help inform the public on the status of response and recovery efforts. Using the Deepwater Horizon Rig incident as an example, there is existing data that GOHSEP is making available which includes the latest oil sightings from aerial observations, oyster bed closures, as well as critical environmental data such as bird nesting areas. During hurricanes and other natural disasters, GOHSEP will be able to provide information such as the location of points of distribution (PODs), food stamp offices, unemployment claims offices, disaster recovery centers as well as the status of parishes’ power outages. A key part of this effort will be working directly with the Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC) at Louisiana State University and our industry partners.
Many of our industry partners have begun providing us with information and we hope to leverage this partnership to provide real time relevant information to the public. Finally, while the primary purpose is to utilize Louisiana Earth as a mechanism to provide critical data during emergencies, this is also an opportunity to promote Louisiana. GOHSEP is constantly adding data that the public can use to take advantage of the many activities and events, such as festivals, that are available in Louisiana. GOHSEP has already included information on all of the state parks which consists of lodging accommodations, hiking trails, and camping sites. Historical data will also be included. To access Louisiana Earth, you must download and install the Louisiana Earth Client. To download the client, click the download link above or here. For more information on how you can keep your family safe during an emergency, please visit www.getagameplan.org.
The LA Earth Team at GOHSEP would like to send special thanks to the LSU/LONI Institute for hosting the LA Earth Client download during (and for an extended period after) the Gulf Oil Spill. By hosting the client download at the LSU/LONI Institute, we were able to utilize our bandwidth resources on more pressing and critical matters involving the oil spill. Thank you for understanding the need to share emergency and disaster information with the public, and thank you for helping us make it a reality.
Q & A
WHAT IS LA Earth ?
LA Earth is a state-owned and maintained Google Earth Enterprise license that contains data and imagery that is specific to Louisiana
HOW DOES IT WORK ?
With LA Earth, Google Earth users can use three dimensional maps of Louisiana and overlay the current location of the oil spill with current fishing closures and the location of protective coastal booms. Thanks to the technology of Google Earth, users can see demographic information about affected communities that dot our coastline.
WHY IS GOHSEP RELEASING LA Earth ?
Because researchers, the public, businesses and the media need accurate data to make decisions as oil begins to impact Louisiana’s coast. Virtual Louisiana also serves as a mechanism to release specific geospatial data to the public regarding emergencies and will assist families in developing their Family Game Plan for emergencies by providing specific details on evacuation zones, evacuation routes, including contraflow, gas stations along the evacuation routes and other pertinent data to allow a family to properly develop a game plan. During non-emergencies, the software will be available to promote Louisiana by listing cultural events such as time and route of parades across the states, festivals and other major events that are unique to Louisiana. Data promoting outdoor activities such as parks, public hunting lands, fishing areas, hiking trails, bicycle routes and other information useful to taking advantage of Louisiana’s natural habitat will also be made available.
HOW WILL GOHSEP PROMOTE LA Earth ?
GOHSEP/Governor’s Office would do a press release, which will be posted on emergency.louisiana.gov. Google will post the above guest message on its popular blog and Google also will promote the story with three prominent technology reporters. GOHSEP will promote on Twitter and Facebook. We anticipate this will be a bigger tech and social media story than a traditional media story. But we also anticipate traditional media outlets will want to use the imagery in their coverage as well.
WHO CAN HELP GROW LA Earth ?
You can! Help us grow LA Earth by creating and submitting places, trails, city tours, or any other interesting information about Louisiana. Please feel free to submit your KML/KMZ files to LA.Earth@LA.gov.