Alabama’s partnership with Google Earth in creating Virtual Alabama, a three-dimensional visualization program that can be used by first responders, law enforcement and others, was recognized by the nation’s governors earlier this week. Governor Bob Riley presented the Public-Private Partnership Award from the National Governors Association to Google Earth during the group’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. Virtual Alabama is the nation’s first comprehensive database of satellite imagery and aerial photography that assembles, displays, evaluates and shares critical data for emergency responders.
The technology allows users to view a wide variety of information,
including buildings, evacuation routes, flood zones, school districts
and watersheds. Agencies using the program can access this information
through a secure, Web-based application.
Speaking to the assembled governors, Governor Riley said that before
Virtual Alabama was created, visual mapping of the state was done by
several different agencies and that the data was usually not shared.
“Virtual Alabama was implemented across my state in just 16 months
time, allowing for a common operating picture that first responders,
county planners and others can use to obtain information during
disasters, catastrophic events and day-to-day operations,” Governor