October 13, 2011 -- The head of Australia’s largest post-disaster reconstruction effort today highlighted the impact that Geographic Information System (GIS) technology has had in leveraging reconstruction efforts since Queensland’s summer of disasters.

In a keynote address to Ozri 2011, Australasia’s leading spatial conference, Chair of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Major General Dick Wilson said spatial technology had an increasingly important role in coordinating recovery from natural disasters.

“Queensland was hit with seven separate disaster events in just a few short weeks,” said Major General Wilson.

“Much of the state was affected by wind or water – sometimes several times over. “The sheer size and scope of the disasters meant that we needed ongoing ways to rapidly acquire and share accurate information about areas hardest hit, and to monitor the reconstruction effort.”

The QRA’s Interactive Flood Map was developed in consultation with location intelligence specialists Esri Australia. The map used GIS technology to identify the interim flood line so Queenslanders could see the impact of waters in their area and provide feedback if the information needed to be refined.

Mapping was undertaken for more than 200 towns and cities across the State. The Interactive Map contains updated reconstruction imagery, information on the pipeline of reconstruction works, and floodplain mapping information to help local councils with any future development applications in flood-prone areas.

Esri Australia Managing Director Brett Bundock said while his company had been involved with some of the most cutting-edge projects on Australian shores, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s work had been one of the most rewarding.

“Major General Wilson’s presentation was powerful – for those who had lived through the summer’s disasters, including many of our staff, it is obvious the impacts are still being felt,” Mr Bundock said.

“For us, the presentation reaffirmed why our involvement in the development of the Authority’s Interactive Map is such an important part of Esri Australia’s 35 year history.

“Esri technology gives us an opportunity to make a difference – and this was one of those times where we were able to apply our specific expertise with a premium product, to deliver a solution that has changed how communities rebuild following a large-scale natural disaster.”

Hosted by Esri Australia, the market leader in Australia’s $2.1 billion spatial industry, Ozri has carved out a reputation as the Asia Pacific’s premier showcase for the latest advances in GIS technology.

Launched yesterday, the conference will be running in Melbourne until tomorrow. For further information, visit www.esriaustralia.com.au/ozri

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