Over the years disasters have been a global concern and with the rapid rate of urbanization, damage caused by these disasters has led to the loss of more lives and property. Rapid, real-time response is a key requirement to save lives and property. In order to efficiently utilize available resources, locating areas stricken with disaster must be quick and precise.
This research paper discusses a development effort that has resulted in a real-time, web-based system that deploys Geographic Information System (GIS) to augment existing emergency response processes. The system utilizes the ubiquitous mobile smart phones, Short Message Service (SMS), and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies to acquire coordinate data of individuals caught in emergency situations. These coordinates serve as input for the GIS software, which plots them in real-time. The research was developed on the Google Android™ operating system platform using open source development tools and languages. The system provides a cost effective and an efficient way of visualizing location-aware information for rapid response and rescue by various disaster management agencies.