Our Work: Oil Spill Response

When an oil spill occurred, the client needed to know where and how the oil was spreading, how it was impacting the environment, and which resources were available to respond.

The Response Team needed

  • Immediate map-based visualizations of the current situation to determine where to focus cleanup efforts
  • Projections of where the oil would move so resources could be pre-deployed

The Solution

Resource Data met all of the Response Team’s spatial needs, giving them views of current conditions as well as future projections.

Our efforts included

  • Acquiring, preparing, and loading incident and response data from a multitude of sources
  • Developing standardized workflows for data management and data chain of custody
  • Managing multiple terabytes of data (both spatial and non-spatial) to ensure its quality, completeness, and integrity
  • Building an interactive viewer to provide a real-time, tactical view of response efforts to widely dispersed users
  • Developing mobile applications for collecting field data—such as boom deployments and wildlife observations—and making that data immediately available to the Response Team
  • Coordinating all GIS-related requests, most of which had deadlines measured in hours
  • Producing paper maps on a scheduled and an ad hoc basis
  • Providing spatial data to support legal counsel and the National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process

With our efforts, the geographically dispersed Response Team members worked from a common operating picture: they all used the same information at the same time. This enhanced situational awareness allowed the team to make more informed decisions.

Our Approach

As an integral part of the Response Team, we provided spatial information critical to the spill response. In addition to creating maps, we provided project management and 24/7 support during the critical period following the spill. After the immediate crisis ended, we continued providing long-term data management support.