Louisiana Speaks Releases GIS Database to Public

BATON ROUGE, LA (January 9, 2008) – The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) and the non-profit Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) are distributing an extensive database of spatial information on South Louisiana . The data was collected as part of the Louisiana Speaks regional planning process and is available to planning organizations and members of the public with GIS capabilities.GIS (Geographic Information System) technology is a tool that allows users to analyze and edit data, as well as create maps for specific uses. The Louisiana Speaks GIS data is organized within the following categories:

* Post-Katrina and Rita Recovery-Related Data
* Hazard-Area Data
* Land-Use and Demographic Data
* Landscape Data
* Infrastructure Data
* Future Community Growth and Transportation Options
* Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan

“For example,” says Camille Manning-Broome, Principal Planner for CPEX, “GIS technology might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster, or it may assist communities that want to plan the way their land is used and developed.”

Certain software, such as ArcGIS or ArcView, is required to run GIS data. Eventually Louisiana Speaks wants to provide resources so that GIS technology can be accessed by the general public, such as companies that want to site a new business that takes advantage of an underserved market, or by home builders who want to place structures on high ground. Louisiana Speaks and its partners are exploring this next phase of this GIS project.

The Louisiana Speaks Strategic Implementation Plan, Section Four: Technology Transfer and Geographic Information Systems, provides more information on the contents of the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan Geographic Information System database, potential uses of the database, and the resources required to use it. The paper is available on www.louisianaspeaks.org.

To obtain a copy of the GIS data, contact the Center for Planning Excellence by email at laspeaks@c-pex.org, or by phone at 225.267.6300. In order to use this data, organizations and individuals must agree that they will never sell it or charge other groups for its use. More information on the GIS database and Louisiana Speaks can be found at www.louisianaspeaks.org.

Louisiana Speaks is the long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Louisiana Speaks is supported with private funds provided by the LRA Support Foundation. For more information about Louisiana Speaks, visit www.louisianaspeaks.org

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