MAPPS Presents Contracting Strategy to National Academy on Role of Geospatial in Disaster Planning

A team from MAPPS presented a disaster planning strategy to a National Academy of Sciences panel on August 3, outlining how to effectively and efficiently utilize geospatial data, products, tools and services in emergency planning, preparedness and response

The National Academy Study Committee on “Planning for Catastrophe: A Blueprint for Improving Geospatial Data, Tools, and Infrastructure” heard Herb Satterlee, CEO of DigitalGlobe; Anne Miglarese, CEO of EarthData; and John Palatiello, Executive Director of MAPPS discuss ways commercial geospatial data products and services can be deployed in preparation for and response to natural (e.g. Hurricane, Forest Fire) or Anthropomorphic (Terror Attack, Train Tank Car Spill) disasters.

Mr. Satterlee demonstrated how DigitalGlobe’s commercial satellite imagery was used to evaluate the effects of last December’s tsunami, while Ms. Miglarese showed how EarthData provided rapid turnaround of airborne remote sensing data for the State of New York at the World Trade Center “ground zero” in the days immediately following September 11, 2001.

Mr. Palatiello recommended an effective contracting strategy that can help fill the needs of Federal, state and local governments, by utilizing geospatial firms retained via the qualifications based selection (QBS) process for indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contracts before a catastrophe hits, and simply negotiating a task order when disaster strikes.  He noted that no Federal agency has a specific, recognized charge to lead geospatial solutions in emergency response, and the lack of a Lead Office reduces effectiveness, increases duplication, increases costs, leaves gaps and fails to employ best technology.  He pointed out numerous benefits to the contracting strategy, including flexibility, speed & response; improved quality; access to personnel & skills; access to innovation & technology; enhanced agency focus on core inherently governmental mission; low risk; and reduced cost. 

PPT presentations available by request:

Herb Satterlee, DigitalGlobe  Request PPT

Anne Miglarese, EarthData    Request PPT

John Palatiello, MAPPS   Request PPT