After the lack of communication that was experienced during and after Hurricane Katrina the State of Louisiana was looking for a tool to provide communication to the emergency management community that met certain criteria. This criterion was that it had to be able to reach a large amount of people at one time, serve the different needs of the users, and it had to be able to be used with virtually no training. Following the successful launch of Virtual Alabama, the State of Louisiana launched a similar solution to provide a visualization tool that will allow first responders across the state to access data that was previously unavailable. Virtual Louisiana (vLA) was launched in August 2007.
vLA is customized to show only imagery and data created for Louisiana. Over the past few years,
the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and serveral local
governments have acquired high resolution imagery and mapping data for its major urban areas, critical
infrastructure and key resources throughout the state. Virtual Louisiana provides a platform that allows the
first responder community who are not trained on GIS software to view the information through a secure
Internet-based application. This software allows all levels of government to share a common operating
picture and view mapping data that was created by local and state governments and over 500 different
agencies across all 64 parishes in Louisiana. Use of the program is limited to governmental agencies and
designed primarily to assist first responders to share a common mapping solution to respond to any
The vLA team team is always looking for ways to improve and
streamline the system to make it as effective as possible.
We are diligently trying to incorporate live data feeds to
provide our users with current up-to-date information. In
addition to current data we are also incorporating the
Historical Imagery feature so we can track the changes
over the years in the imagery. New and exciting updates
are made to Virtual Louisiana everyday, so stay tuned!