Using GIS for disaster risk reductionGENEVA, 24 April 2012 - Innovations in technology have made it easier in the last decade to reduce disaster risks and plan for the future. The internet combined with technologies, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), now makes it possible to better understand and communicate the social and physical complexities of disasters.
This was clearly echoed by Ambassador Betty E. King, permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in April at the conference 'GIS for the United Nations and the International Community'.
"Technology is a valuable tool that has the potential to transform the way we work, and it also can deliver cost efficiencies, increase transparency, and make an organization more relevant to what is happening around the world in real time," said Ambassador King in her keynote address.
"Today, the world faces many challenges: climate change, famine and drought, global epidemics, violent conflict and persistent poverty. Technology such as GIS offers the possibility of visual analysis and allows us to see political boundaries, population trends, and socioeconomic differences. It also offers us the ability to acquire and verify facts."