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Making Data More Accessible

Issue directive making federal disaster maps and data public

In recent disasters, such as the California wildfires, there were no publicly available computerized maps and data. At one point, state and local responders were relying on maps posted to Google maps by a local newspaper. FEMA customarily prepares computerized maps (GIS), but does not customarily release that data. It sometimes makes the data available to researchers and, nonpublicly, to other government agencies. ...more »

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Do-It-Yourself Government

Make emergency planning a bottom-up process

Federal agencies typically write national emergency plans and only later obtain public comment. Often, the public is hindered in commenting because they have not been educated about the basics of emergency planning and coordination. Develop a one-semester emergency planning curriculum that schools can present to high school students (with input from state and local planners) that introduces basic concepts of individual, ...more »

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Making Data More Accessible

Limit government use of classified satellite data

The Problem: In 2007, the Bush administration decided to allow more federal agencies to use data from intelligence satellites, i.e., classified data. Nearly all federal agencies these days use satellite imagery, but non-classified imagery is adequate to meet most non-intel needs based on my experience as a GIS specialist at a federal homeland security agency. To oversee the distribution of that data, the Bush administration ...more »

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