Welcome to Booster!
 Volume 4     May 2013
Message from the Director
Community Resilience:
The wide range of tragic events over the past two months has demonstrated the importance of community resilience in the face of accidents, criminal acts, or natural disasters. Further, the potential of new sources of information for event preparation and response has been highlighted. Advanced weather simulation and predicition models, social media, and crowd-sensed data can greatly improve community resilience. However, recent events have also highlighted the continued need for research to harness these data sources and turn them into actionable information by not only community leaders and responders, but also citizens. Advanced, integrated analytics and interactive visualization are key assets and tools for community resilience, and VACCINE researchers are actively working on these new techonologies. We continue to work closely with our first responder community partners to ensure the development of targeted tools to make them more effective. Examples of the wide range of our projects include the following: disaster assessment and managment tools with the Miami-Dade Emergency Operation Center, visual analytics of severe storms with storm prediction ensembles, advanced video and image analytics, sharing of map symbols for emergency management as well as the standardization of those symbols, mobile crisis response tools, and most recently working on a community resilience project with Greensburg, Kansas - a town, which in 2007 was devasted by an EF5 tornado.
If you have an interest in VACCINE research or resiliency or ideas, partnerships, or opportunites for our team, please contact us.
Sharing Map Symbols for Emeregency Management using the Symbol Store
Maps are a primary means for supporting information sharing and collaboration in emergency management and crisis situations. While a variety of formalized map symbol standards for emergency contexts exist, they have not been widely adopted by mapmakers. Informal symbol sets are commonly used within emergency management groups, but until now there has not been a flexible mechanism for discovering, sharing, and previewing these symbol sets among mapmakers.
For the past two years, the Penn State GeoVISTA Center has been developing the Symbol Store, a web-based interactive tool designed to help mapmakers share point symbols. The Symbol Store allows users to browse for symbols by keyword, category tags, and contributors. It also allows for symbols to be previewed on realistic maps prior to download. All symbols can be saved in common raster and vector formats for use in all types of mapping software. The initial prototype of the Symbol Store was evaluated by flood mapping experts from the State of California, and the results of this user study led to multiple refinements now implemented in the public version of Symbol Store.
Recently, the Penn State team has been focusing on transitioning the Symbol Store to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) GeoPlatform . The Symbol Store will be one of the first applications to be shared on this national platform.

- On May 8th, Vaccine presented about the COE at the Fusion Center Central Regional Workshop. 
- On May 20th, CVADA held a small retreat in Chicago in order to build collaborating efforts between VACCINE and CCICADA. Researchers from each side of the CVADA halves were represented.
- On May 27th and 28th, there will be a Science of Interactions workshop in Banff Canada.
- On July 29th through August 1st VACCINE will be hosting a MSI Visual Analytics Instructor Workshop this summer at Jackson State University in Mississippi. For more information contact us at vaccine@purdue.edu.
- On September 26th and 27th, VACCINE will host its annual meeting on Purdue's campus in West Lafayette, IN. 
- On November 13th and 14th VACCINE and the United States Coast Guard will be hosting the 2013 Maritime Risk Symposium in West Lafayette, Indiana.
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