Columbia Geospatial Center plays big role in Ike recovery - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Columbia Geospatial Center plays big role in Ike recovery

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center was first called on Sunday. For days GIS experts had followed Ike's path, now three of Columbia's finest are in Galveston mapping the destruction line. Director, P.R. Blackwell said,  " The initial work is always on these events has to do with making base maps for having to get people in and out."

Meanwhile, in Nacogdoches the images are documented.  " We're trying to digitize the water line then we're going to digitize the post event," said one Columbia team member.     Another is concerned about the lives the images reflect. " Nice neighborhood, and then after, it's debris left. "

The change seen in the coastal beach front is dramatic. You can see hotels standing in pre hurricane pictures.  Nothing in post hurricane pictures.    " Before the storm, as we scan down, after here, we have after the storm. "

Another partner in the regional geospatial service is Texas Tech, way up in Lubbock. Daily computer conferences bring three regions of the state together to create a damage assessment. Texas Tech Geospatial Center Director Lucia Barbato said via tele-conference,     " We might be remote, but that is actually an advantage in this situation because of us not being affected directly by the damage we can provide support with data and backup as needed and that's the goal. "

By the look of the devastation left behind hurricane ike, it will take the whole state of Texas to put the pieces back together.  

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