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Pacific Disaster Center recognized for use of GIS technology

News and Press Release
Originally published
KIHEI (May 26) - The Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) on Maui has been selected to receive a "Special Achievement Award" from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) for its use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. PDC was chosen from among more than 100,000 users of GIS worldwide. The award will be presented at ESRI's International User Conference in San Diego on July 27.

"I'm proud of the work our PDC team has done in support of disaster management and humanitarian assistance in the Asia Pacific region and Hawai'i," said PDC Director Allen Clark. "This award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of our efforts to protect lives and foster disaster-resistant communities."

GIS is a powerful and versatile computer-driven mapping technology with broad applications in disaster planning and management. Following the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunamis that devastated coastal communities in the Indian Ocean region, PDC launched web-based map and imagery display and navigation tools allowing disaster managers to access and visualize geographic information quickly and easily.

"PDC has worked diligently to create an enterprise GIS architecture that allows us to efficiently share data with those who need it, whether for response and recovery or for risk mitigation activities," said PDC Senior Manager Chris Chiesa. "We're very pleased that ESRI recognizes the quality of our work in the GIS community."

A number of PDC technologies, including its Map Viewer and Asia Pacific Natural Hazards and Vulnerabilities Atlas, have provided emergency managers with improved access to maps, downloadable high-resolution satellite imagery, and other tools essential to disaster management.

PDC's mission is to provide applied information research and analysis support for the development of more effective policies, institutions, programs and information products for the disaster management and humanitarian assistance communities of the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

The East-West Center has been the managing partner of the PDC since 2001.

For more information, contact:

Bruce Bottorff
Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 944-7204 Email:

Pacific Disaster Center
(808) 891-7953 email: