Grants to bolster GIS, homeland
- By Brian Robinson
- Apr 08, 2002
ESRI state and local government grant programs
In the interest of boosting homeland security, ESRI one of the leading
companies in the geographic information system field has set up a $2.3
million grant program to jump-start GIS initiatives in small cities and
help set up crisis centers for local government agencies.
The company also will hold seminars on the use of GIS for homeland security
in various cities across the country and will issue a series of white papers
showing how GIS can be used as the backbone of a homeland security plan.
ESRI's GIS technology played a big part in the post-Sept. 11 recovery
in New York City, said Russ Johnson, the company's public safety information
manager, and also showed how cities could prepare better for emergencies
by using such tools as vulnerability analyses.
The grant program, along with the seminars and white papers, are meant
as a way to disperse more broadly the GIS knowledge and tools needed for
"There are a lot of cities of 100,000 population or less that are interested
in using GIS for this, but have no funds to get it started," Johnson said.
A city can earn a grant of GIS software, training and support by proposing
a homeland security process that uses GIS and that ESRI considers "reasonable,"
Johnson said. Grants also are available to 10 local government agencies
that can show they are already moving quickly to establish crisis command
and control centers for first responders.
Both programs were open for applications April 1 and will close Nov.
1. Awards will be announced in two phases, on June 4 and Nov. 1.
For information on how to apply, go to www.esri.com/govgrants.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.