Images of Gustav available on the Web

Aerial photographs taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are being used by several agencies to help assess the effects of Hurricane Gustav.

NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey took thousands of aerial photographs after the storm came ashore in the United States. The photos — available at NOAA’s Emergency Response Imagery Web site — provide a snapshot of the physical damage to structures along with the changes to the natural shoreline and coastal areas.

Coastal planners and scientists who study the effects of storm surge and winds on coastal areas use the photos to study areas that are both natural habitats and developed.

The photos are posted as they become available with members of the public who can sometimes get a close look at their own property if it is in the flight path.

NOAA, working with Google Earth, has made these images available to the public for several years. When Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, the site attracted more than 72 million visitors who downloaded more than 51 million images.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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