Coinciding with the release of the new New York City hurricane zones (see press release http://on.nyc.gov/12HfnB4) is the release of a new Hurricane Zone Finder application. The application was developed by NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication (DoITT) in collaboration with the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and includes improvements over the previous version.
Application improvements include mobile browser support, address search enhancements, multi-modal transit directions and enhanced messaging. Additionally, the transparency of the hurricane zones can be adjusted to clearly display street names and landmarks for better orientation. To do so, click ‘Layer transparency…’ at the bottom of the legend.
The new Hurricane Zone Finder application was developed using Google’s Maps Engine and Maps API. The hurricane zones and evacuation centers are stored in the cloud-based Maps Engine data store and published directly to the Google Maps API. Maps Engine is also queried to determine if the geocoded address is located within one of the six hurricane zones. Maps API and Maps Engine provided the ability to quickly develop an information-rich application while providing the necessary cloud resources to handle the traffic experienced during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
The evacuation centers are shown on the map and listed on the Evacuation Centers tab, in ascending order based on distance from the searched address. Directions are provided for each evacuation center or by default for the nearest evacuation center.
When an evacuation order is announced, the application will specify for which evacuation zones the evacuation order is in effect for. At all other times, the residents of New York City can use the application for pre-planning and preparation.