The debate that surrounds the issue of GIS expertise in emergency management seemingly stems from the identity and capabilities of practitioners in crisis management situations.
The first or local responders in crisis situations in all likelihood will be police, fire or medical response units; who although highly skilled will not be required to possess any substantial amount of GIS knowledge. Although this observation is simplistic, the cyclical nature and/or role of GIS within emergency management convey the link between GIS expertise and emergency management. The cyclical presence of GIS in the emergency response cycle for example displays how the discipline can be involved in the process of preparedness due to its role in the process of rescue. The presence of GIS expertise in emergency management can be in part explained by the want and desire on the part GIS professionals to retain the consistency and integrity of data pertaining to any given hazard or disaster. This endeavour to build and maintain a reliable data stream facilitates more accurate and thorough long term analysis leading to the delivery of relevant short term information.
Operationally the presence of GIS expertise in emergency management can be attributed to the constraints felt by the practitioner community with regard to two main areas; interface and data volume and format. Irritation with GIS interface technology is a dominant theme within the practitioner community; it was a prominent theme during the response to 9/11 as it was perceived by the practitioner community to be awkward and lacking in interoperability. The frustration with GIS data volume many in the practitioner