DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - Aug 28, 2012) - OnTerra Systems (www.OnTerraSystems.com), a technology leader in Web mapping, fleet optimization, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integration solutions and services, today introduced TheHelpMap (www.TheHelpMap.com) -- a free smartphone mobile Web map app that helps people in disaster zones connect with each other to request help or offer help before, during, and after disasters have occurred. This free mobile app from OnTerra Systems is an interactive, easy-to-use Web map that runs on any Web browser on a smart phone.
The introduction of TheHelpMap.com free mobile app from OnTerra Systems is particularly timely given that Tropical Storm Isaac is predicted to intensify and be upgraded to hurricane status as it makes landfall and then follow a path similar to Hurricane Katrina.
TheHelpMap.com will be an invaluable tool to empower citizens to help each other during times of emergency. TheHelpMap.com also will be a helpful tool for public safety and emergency management professionals.
For example, in addition to connecting people in hard-hit areas so they can help each other, TheHelpMap.com will soon be able to generate "heat maps" that show the density of requests for help, which can assist public safety and emergency management personnel to understand the hardest hit areas and where to deploy resources first.
This free Web map app from OnTerra Systems is easy to use. Before, during, or after a disaster, people in the disaster area simple access: www.thehelpmap.com on their smartphone. Users accessing TheHelpMap.com will first be asked if they need help, or if they are offering help. Information can be entered into the free Web map app using 200 characters or less. Users also must enter their address, or allow their smartphone to pinpoint their location using GPS coordinates, and then click submit. The information then will appear on TheHelpMap, and citizens accessing the map and/or public safety officials can both see what help is needed, and where. The mobile app also captures phone numbers -- allowing those in need to connect with those who can help, first via TheHelpMap, and ultimately via calling each other on their smartphones by clicking on the "dial" button in the app.
The technology driving TheHelpMap.com is based on OnTerra Systems' LocatorSavvy™ -- a development tool that speeds up the process of developing Web map locators. OnTerra Systems used LocatorSavvy™ concepts to very quickly develop a hurricane tracker Web map in mid 2011 in advance of a pending storm hitting the United States' Eastern seaboard. This Hurricane Tracker application now resides on the Wall Street Journal Web site, and shows the path of hurricanes from 2005 to date. OnTerra Systems' Hurricane Tracker Web map can be found at: www.wsj.com/hurricanetracker.
"Web mapping technology is most often used for commerce, in applications such as store or product locators for desktop computers or smartphones," said Steve Milroy, OnTerra Systems' CEO. "However, these same Web mapping locator technologies can be a powerful tool for dealing with disaster situations, and helping people in times of trouble."
"Once we saw the anticipated size and scope of Tropical Storm Isaac and that it's bearing down on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, we quickly developed this application in the hopes that it will help people in the path of this powerful storm," added Mr. Milroy.
"When disasters strike, public safety and emergency management personnel are both addressing immediate emergencies, and making strategic decisions on how to handle the disaster," said Patrick Campbell, OnTerra Systems COO. "TheHelpMap.com from OnTerra Systems empowers individuals to fill in the gaps between the actual event and when public safety responders can reach them -- and can help public safety officials make informed decisions on where and when to deploy resources overall."
About OnTerra Systems
Founded in 2005, OnTerra Systems is a company of Web mapping experts, programming specialists, and project managers that provide Web mapping services and products, fleet optimization systems and products, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integration services and consulting. OnTerra Systems is a long-time Microsoft partner. OnTerra can be reached at: www.OnTerraSystems.com, or 720.836.7201.
Editor's Note: Sample images of TheHelpMap.com can be obtained by contacting DeWinterComm, OnTerra Systems' Agency of Record, at: 303.572.8180, or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OnTerra Systems, LocatorSavvy, and TheHelpMap are trademarks of OnTerra Systems, LLC.