San Diego State’s Vizualization Center has become a renowned laboratory for merging the internet and network technologies to assist real-world disaster response.
The work by Viz Center director Eric Frost and his team was recognized by the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education with the Award for Institutional Excellence in Information Technology, the organization's most prestigious award for institutions.
Through massive processing of imagery, Geography Information Systems and Web services, and by providing cloud services to major disaster responses, the Viz Center has helped morph global disaster response to an open-source environment.
Volunteer experts, including students, faculty and staff, participate in real projects concerning humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, community resilience, search and rescue and aid to operational emergency responders and homeland security around the world.
"An outstanding example"
“The ACUTA Institutional Excellence Award recognizes projects that reflect the information communications technology department’s contribution to and support of the mission of its institution,” said Joseph E. Harrington, former president of the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education.
“San Diego State’s Viz Center is an outstanding example of how technology can serve not just locally on its campus or in its community, but globally to make our world a better, safer place.”
The Viz Center has assisted in such relief efforts as the Haiti earthquake and cholera outbreak, Hurricane Katrina, multiple San Diego wildfires and the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. The Viz Center has also hosted several global real-play exercises, known as X24, involving more than 100 countries.
The association selects winners based on their contribution in support of the mission of the university, and on the scope and complexity of the project, technological leadership, benefit to the institution and its constituents and demonstration of excellence and professionalism.