Up-to-date maps and imagery are key to the rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Armed with a handful of online mapping tools, plenty of enthusiasm and access to more data than most of would know what to do with - a band of developers puts the data onto the web for all to see and use. It's available in a variety of formats, including web pages, an Active X viewer and the open standard web mapping services.
It began with a set of 1,500 JPEG images of the storm's aftermath from the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Norman Vine (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and MapServer hacker) and Mark Lucas (L3-Titan) worked with NOAA to get access to the data so that the group could pull together some products, with the hope of having a useful product available quickly. Instant communication on the project was possible through Internet Relay Chat, bringing together several colleagues who helped support the project further.
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