Esri Experts Honored with 2018 NSDI Champion of the Year Award

by | Jul 3, 2019

REDLANDS, Calif.- Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced that the recipient of the 2018 Doug D. Nebert National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Champion of the Year Award has been chosen by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). The award has been granted to the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Database (HIFLD) community in recognition of its efforts during the hurricane season of 2017. HIFLD membership includes key personnel from Esri, whose Disaster Response Program provides assistance worldwide to support disaster response and relief efforts with GIS technology and expertise when local capacity is exceeded.

During Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the HIFLD community used the FGDC’s shared service GeoPlatform in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide geospatial data and services to impacted communities and emergency management organizations. This assistance proved critical in supporting rapid response efforts. Using Esri’s ArcGIS Online open data capabilities, the HIFLD community worked together to build a centralized open site to aggregate, host, and share unclassified, publicly available geospatial data and services, resulting in HIFLD4Harvey and HIFLD4Irma. Within 30 days of their creation, these sites supported over 12,000 users from the local, state, federal, and tribal governments and the private sector, providing them the data needed to promote fast, effective hurricane response and recovery.

“We’re excited and honored to learn that Esri’s HIFLD Program team was chosen to receive the NSDI Award. I congratulate my colleagues, Stuart Rucker and Charmel Menzel, for the FGDC’s recognition of their contributions during these disasters,” said Bill McGilvery, senior account manager at Esri and HIFLD Program team member. “This collaborative team was made up of key Esri customers, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of the Interior; strategic Esri industry partner National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation; and Esri partners ArdentMC and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. The team had one goal: to find a way to effectively share national foundation-level geospatial data in a faster, more accessible way. We wanted to help partnering agencies and first responders during the 2017 hurricanes to get the information they needed to better coordinate their efforts and save lives. I think we succeeded.”

Esri’s Disaster Response Program assists first responders all over the world, providing solutions in response and recovery following a wide range of natural disasters. In addition to this HIFLD success, ArcGIS Online was essential to the State of Missouri’s response and recovery efforts during the flooding of 2017, as story maps”featuring current conditions and forecasts and solutions to track and manage resources”helped local agencies both during and after the active floods. More recently, during the devastating California wildfires, Esri produced live maps with up-to-the-minute fire updates and smoke forecasts to keep emergency personnel and affected residents informed.

The NSDI Champion of the Year Award was established in honor of Doug Nebert, a respected Federal Geographic Data Committee colleague, technical visionary, and recognized national and international leader in the establishment of spatial data infrastructures.

To learn more about how Esri supports emergency response efforts, visit

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, offers the most powerful geospatial cloud available, to help customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including 90 of the Fortune 100 companies, all 50 state governments, more than half of all counties (large and small), and 87 of the Forbes Top 100 Colleges in the U.S., as well as all 15 Executive Departments of the U.S. Government and dozens of independent agencies. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

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