Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications in Emergency Management

  • Hung-Lung WeiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_13-1


Burroughs (1986) defined GIS as “a powerful set of tools for collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming, and displaying spatial data from the real world” (quoted in Waugh 2002, p. 277). In addition, Star and Estes (1990) stated GIS as “An information system that is designed to work with data referenced by spatial or geographic coordinates. In other words, a GIS is both a database system with specific capabilities for spatially referenced data, as well as a set of operations for working with the data” (p. 2).


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a computer-based information system that can be utilized to acquire, store, display, and analyze spatial data; and it is widely used in the field of emergency management. Drabek (1991) defined emergency management as “the discipline and profession of applying science, technology, planning and management to deal with extreme events that can injure or kill large numbers of people, do extensive damage to property, and...


GIS Emergency management Natural hazards Technological hazards 
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Further Reading

  1. Abdalla, R. (2016). Evaluation of spatial analysis application for urban emergency management. SpringerPlus, 5, 2081.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-3723-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kataoka, M. (2007). GIS for homeland security. Redlands: ESRI Press.Google Scholar
  3. Pine, J. C. (2018). Technology and emergency management (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Security, Fire, and Emergency ManagementJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNYNew YorkUSA