2009 Ohio GIS Conference
Workshop Description and Biography

Intro to USNG for GIS Professionals

Talbot Brooks - Delta State University

Talbot Brooks is Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, a GIT Branch Chief for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and Deputy Chief of Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department. His career started in 1987 with the Wareham Fire Department where he worked as a paid firefighter. He left Wareham to pursue a college degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology through an Army ROTC scholarship and to serve as a volunteer firefighter/EMT in upstate New York. Upon graduation in 1993, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. He was then hired by the US Dept. of Agriculture's US Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, AZ to work on his graduate studies and as a research technician developing remote sensing technologies for agriculture. His work at USDA investigated the potential effects of climate change on food supply and security. He left USDA to pursue a career as a research scientist for the Department of Geography at Arizona State University in 2000. During his tenure there, he focused on the application of geospatial technologies to public safety, homeland security, and community development. He left ASU in 2005 to join Delta State University in Cleveland, MS where he continues these activities.

Significant projects and accomplishments include:
  • Construction of the GIS used for the 2004 Tempe Presidential Debate and one of the base maps for the 2009 Inauguration
  • Data collection and integration for the Phoenix Fire Department 911/CAD system
  • Started the geospatial response to Hurricane Katrina for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
  • 2006 ESRI Special Achievement in GIS Award Winner
  • Best Speaker Award, 2006 & 2009 GITA Annual Conference
  • Named one of the "Top 50 Professionals to Watch" by GPS World in 2007
  • Board of Directors, GITA and Chair of the Emergency Response Committee
  • Member National Fire Protection Association Data Standards Committee
  • Invited speaking engagements to prominent organizations such as the National Fire Academy, National Academy of Sciences Mapping Science Committee, the European Geospatial Defense Conference, the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, and the Geospatial Information and Technology Association about the application of spatial technologies to emergency management and response.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 8:30 AM

Developed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee and endorsed by FEMA and the National Search and Rescue Committee, the U.S. National Grid (USNG) is an easy to use system for identifying and determining locations with a USNG gridded map and/or a USNG enabled GPS system. Based on techniques used by the military for more than 50 years, it offers an inexpensive way for all components of the emergency response community to have a common geospatial frame of reference while serving as an “always ready” backup for high-tech systems. This workshop will cover some of the basics of USNG for reading and map production.