Data Collection Device Offers Situation Analysis During Disaster Response

In recent years devastating natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti have caused widespread damage and required quick and strategic rescue missions. In both crises, emergency responders were tasked with large-scale evacuations and hazards that required significant manpower and situation analysis.

In order to assess damage and coordinate rescue missions in areas cut off by Hurricane Katrina, emergency responders used ikeGPS—a data collection solution that fully integrates a GPS, camera, laser rangefinder, 3D compass, computer and measurement software to increase efficiency in field evaluations, all in a single device.

The technology platform—developed by New Zealand company Surveylab via a co-operative research agreement with the U.S. military—was also chosen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies involved in the Katrina rescue effort to plan and coordinate responses across the gulf region. Throughout the clean-up, GIS data and geotagged images from ikeGPS were used to locate potential biohazards, such as oil spills, and assess damage to infrastructure that could not physically be reached. 

In Haiti, eight international aid agencies used ikeGPS mobile solutions for GIS data capture and disaster relief support. ikeGPS’s integrated system allows field workers to stay safe (a user can be up to 1,000 m from a target), collect data fast (collect multiple positions and images of distant targets from one position), and gives analysts and technicians complete verification of information gathered via the image of the target with cross-hairs marking the exact point of measurement. ikeGPS now also enables users to accurately measure and model anything captured in an ikeGPS photo—building heights, wire spans, road clearances etc.

"The Ike1000 has proven itself to be an invaluable resource that enables wide-area damage assessment teams to effectively and efficiently report situational awareness information back to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC),” says Phil Dolbow, principal of Texas-based Tactical Communications, LLC.  “These new tools have proven to provide rich data and improve economies and efficiencies both in the field and back in the EOC."

To learn more about ikeGPS, visit