TU professor receives University System of Maryland endowed professorship

John M. Morgan III, of White Marsh, director of Towson University’s Geospatial Research and Education Laboratory, is one of three faculty members within the University System of Maryland selected to receive the 2010 Wilson H. Elkins Professorship. His one-year award comes with a budget of $80,000.

Morgan will work toward developing a Google Maps-based emergency mapping system for the state of Maryland. He is director emeritus of Towson University’s Center for Geographic Information Sciences (CGIS), which developed EMMA, the Emergency Management Mapping Application, a Web-based tool used to support public safety and manage emergencies in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the National Capital Region.

State and local government agencies have used EMMA since 2004 for their homeland security and emergency-management efforts. Unfortunately, no such system currently exists for use by Maryland residents more generally in the event of an emergency.

Morgan, who was responsible for the development of EMMA, proposes to develop a Google Maps application that incorporates information such as evacuation routes, bus routes and flood hazard areas, in addition to the locations of evacuation centers, hospitals, police stations, gasoline stations, hotels and motels, and other important facilities and services. Combined with Google Map’s ability to generate driving directions, this application would provide freely accessible, easy to use, and important information to the public in the event of an emergency.

“Support from the Elkins Professorship and recognition for Dr. Morgan will advance efforts to provide this critical information to the public in ways that also provide substantial gains for students, for GIS practitioners, for the University System of Maryland, and for the larger community,” TU president Robert L. Caret says.

Morgan joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Planning in 1984. He has published 21 papers and reports, presented over 90 papers at various conferences, conducted more than 125 workshops on various GIS and remote sensing topics, and organized 22 annual GIS conferences and three international conferences on GIS education. Morgan received citations from Gov. Martin O’Malley (2007) and Gov. Parris Glendening (1997) in recognition of his contributions to the use of geographic information systems in the state of Maryland.

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