GIS is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

How does GIS work?

GIS can integrate and relate any data with a spatial component, regardless of the source of the data. For example, you can combine the location of mobile workers, located in real-time by GPS devices, in relation to customers’ homes, located by address and derived from your customer database. GIS maps this data, giving dispatchers a visual tool to plan the best routes for mobile staff or send the closest worker to a customer. This saves tremendous time and money.

What is unique about GIS?

Rather than you working hard to understand your data, GIS puts your data to work for you. GIS can provide you with powerful information­not just how things are, but how they will be in the future based on changes you apply.

What are applications of GIS?

Map Where Things Are:

Mapping where things are lets you find places that have the features you’re looking for, and to see where to take action.
Find a feature­People use maps to see where or what an individual feature is.
Finding patterns­Looking at the distribution of features on the map instead of just an individual feature, you can see patterns emerge.

Map Quantities:

People map quantities, like where the most and least are, to find places that meet their criteria and take action, or to see the relationships between places. This gives an additional level of information beyond simply mapping the locations of features.

Map Densities

While you can see concentrations by simply mapping the locations of features, in areas with many features it may be difficult to see which areas have a higher concentration than others. A density map lets you measure the number of features using a uniform areal unit, such as acres or square miles, so you can clearly see the distribution.

Map Change:

Map the change in an area to anticipate future conditions, decide on a course of action, or to evaluate the results of an action or policy.

By mapping where and how things move over a period of time, you can gain insight into how they behave.
Map change to anticipate future needs
Map conditions before and after an action or event to see the impact.


Emergency planning is key to saving lives and minimizing property damage in the event of a major disaster. Southern California is particularly at-risk as a result of earthquakes, fires or a catastrophe at one of the area’s many refineries, airports or harbors.

Effective planning for response involves understanding how to prevent or minimize consequences of emergencies and acquire the information and data necessary to respond. Achieving these goals requires the identification of critical infrastructure and resources as well as a sound understanding of how emergencies unfold. Effective response is realized when planning and preparedness investments are sufficient to ensure continuity of effort.

GIS is an extremely important method of effectively preparing for disasters.

To help Cities prepare, the Disaster Planning Coordinator for Area G, Mike Martinet, has partnered with Palos Verdes on the Net (PVNET) to provide an internship for PVNET GIS interns in GIS Disaster Planning preparation for Cities in Area G which is comprised of 14 Cities in the Southbay. Mr. Martinet will provide direction and act as a mentor

PVNET, a 501c3, has brought together in our new PVNET/ANNEX GIS Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, the opportunity for College level students to gain GIS based Disaster Planning Preparation experience in once in a lifetime opportunity while being mentored by a highly respected professional in the industry.

Interns will learn about GIS tools and to utilize geographic information system (GIS) for preparing the data and maps necessary for emergency planning.

GIS maps graphically display such hazards as, gas, electrical and water lines within the city. Identify the location of schools and hospitals near these and other hazards. For low lying coastal communities it can identify tsunami risk areas. Available resources such as food (markets), water, construction equipment and supplies can be graphically displayed as well as emergency staging areas. The systems can also store and display information on at-risk residents that would be at-risk in the event of an emergency.

Knowing where critical assets are located and having first access to key data and information necessary for optimal response can be addressed through the purposeful implementation of GIS. Geo-spatial information is required from the moment an emergency call is received; it would answer the following questions:

•Where is the emergency?
•What is the best route?
•Where are the closest hydrants and/or water sources?
•Where are the nearest critical facilities?

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