Virginia Department of Emergency Management Honored for Special Achievement in GIS

July 24, 2018  //  

RICHMOND — Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, presented the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) with its Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Award on July 11 at the annual Esri User Conference. VDEM received the award for efforts to integrate GIS, industry, public and agency data into a simple, accessible format to assist emergency managers, government leaders and emergency responders to make difficult decisions during disasters.


“Maintaining situational awareness during complex emergency events is a challenge at the heart coordinating aid to citizens impacted by manmade or natural disasters,” said VDEM State Coordinator Jeff Stern. “VDEM’s GIS team did a stellar job of working with Esri and other private-sector partners to develop a consistent platform for sharing rapidly-changing data from multiple sources, including information about agency staff location, incident management documents, power outages, traffic and weather conditions. Through Esri’s ArcGIS platform, our team created tools to organize and present information in a consistent manner, making it easier to dispatch resources and make decisions in times of crisis.”


The Esri awards are given to organizations that use GIS to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Users honored with these awards demonstrate the most groundbreaking and transformative possibilities of GIS software.


“Esri’s User Conference is a great forum for our users to come together and share the amazing ways they are implementing GIS technology,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “The organizations recognized here are creating maps and using spatial analytics to make a difference in the world. We are honored to present these awards.”


VDEM was among agencies in commercial industry, defense, transportation, nonprofit, telecommunications, and government to receive an award. Esri staff annually nominate hundreds of candidates from around the world for consideration, and Dangermond selects the finalists.


To learn more about how VDEM is using the latest technology and innovation to improve Virginia’s preparedness and response to all hazards, visit and follow us on twitter (@VDEM) and Facebook (



Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund