Dewberry Recognized for Innovation in Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Using TerraGo Publisher

by | Apr 16, 2014

Washington, DC, April 10, 2014”Lauren Hand, a Dewberry Project Geographer is receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award in Emergency Management during the upcoming National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida. Hand developed a new geospatial tool that integrates data from Hurricane Evacuation Studies (HES) using TerraGo's GeoPDF technology.  Dewberry's tool provides Geographic Information System (GIS) data, including hurricane and disaster planning maps to emergency managers.

One of the biggest problems currently plaguing emergency management agencies is the inability to have a common operating picture that provides critical and strategic data, in an offline environment. Dewberry's objective was to solve this problem and develop a comprehensive, everyday GIS tool that stores mission-critical data in one central location. It also had to be user-friendly and accessible for both GIS and non-GIS users.

TerraGo's GeoPDF technology helps us support our clients and present hurricane evacuation data in a way that they can easily access and understand, said Hand. We have found that this tool has eliminated some of the guess work, which is associated with increasing preparedness and faster response times.

Using TerraGo Publisher, Dewberry is able to produce customized GeoPDF maps and imagery using its existing Esri ArcGIS® assets, and deliver those maps to non-GIS field users, who are often working in offline environments. Emergency Managers can quickly access and query the information contained in the HES. This allows decision makers to make more timely and informed decisions when a hurricane is threatening a community. In addition to using GeoPDF for map data distribution, Dewberry is using GeoPDF in Interactive Technical Data Reports to hyperlink and bookmark vital data and maps. This replaces cumbersome appendix tables and map atlases, which allow HES study results to be easily accessed.

According to George Demmy, TerraGo's Chief Technology Officer, We invented GeoPDF for precisely this reason- to enable GIS experts to share maps, imagery and critical information with non-GIS personnel anywhere, anytime and especially offline. In supporting their client's goals, Dewberry has created a solution that will transform the way emergency managers and first responders strategize during these serious situations, improving the success of every aspect of hurricane preparedness programs.

GeoPDF software and maps are currently the accepted method for providing the HES data and has changed the way emergency management agencies prepare for disasters.  As a result of Hand's work, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have changed their HES delivery procedures to allow Dewberry to produce the latest versions of the HES Interactive Technical Data Reports for coastal states including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

About TerraGo

TerraGo develops powerful location intelligence, geospatial collaboration and field data collection solutions that help the world's leading defense and intelligence departments, government agencies and commercial enterprises achieve mission success. TerraGo allows organizations to discover location intelligence, integrate geospatial intelligence and deliver situational awareness to the edge of operations and back.¨¨Founded in 2005, TerraGo developed some of the industry's most widely adopted geospatial integration and collaboration solutions, based on its innovative GeoPDF® technology. Find the location intelligence solutions that matter to your mission at

About Dewberry

Dewberry is a leading professional services firm with a proven history of providing architecture, engineering, and management and consulting services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients' most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 40 locations and 1,800+ professionals nationwide. To learn more, visit


May Issue 2024