Preparing for future storms: powered by geospatial data

Last edited 09/05/2019
Contact Information

Contact: Sara Stevens (NPS),, (401) 874-4548

Complex spatial data sets must be readily available for park personnel to determine how storms have impacted park resources. The Geospatial Data Management project will guide parks in their geospatial preparedness, response, and procedures in future storm events.  

Following Hurricane Sandy it became clear that our coastal parks were not prepared to deal with the very large and complex spatial data sets that were becoming available from various agencies (e.g., aerial photographs, LiDAR data, tide data, wave data) and often lacked ready access to necessary historical data. The storm incident command team, scientists in the field, and others needed information quickly to assess damage to infrastructure and cultural resources and changes to natural resources – maps were critically needed.

This project, conducted in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, is developing the tools that will guide our parks in acquiring these complex data, processing, analyzing and storing the data and making existing spatial data available for assisting with future pre- and post-storm assessments. Each coastal park will have a database of high quality spatial information that will be essential for first responders and time-saving protocols on how to access new spatial data and how to analyze and present data will be available. All of the data and protocols will be available and operational on laptops and smart phones and be independent of the internet or electricity. This project is truly using technological advances to enhance park preparedness for future storms.


More information: 

This link provides a short briefing on this project:
The following website provides products being developed as part of this project. The NPS cooperators come from the University of Rhode Island Environmental Data Center, leaders in Geographic Information Research:

The following google site houses NPS Hurricane Sandy proposals, project progress reports and general information about each project. This site continues to be developed:

Data Products completed for Assateague Island NS:

Data Products completed for Fire Island NS:

Data Products completed for Gateway NRA:

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