GIS MAPPING: Scientists developed a method for interpreting and visualizing the locations where sex offenders live. They used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to produce a map that represents data in several layers. These can be overlaid to produce an easy-to-interpret map identifying compliance with regulations of where sex offenders are permitted to live, the locations of schools, and other data. GIS can be used in many other useful ways. In disaster response situations, people must be mobile and have immediate access to information. One type of software uses programs called intelligent agents to enable mobile devices to function smoothly even if they cannot always access a wireless network. The agents monitor changes in the network and store and secure data in the event of a network disruption. Such programs can run on mobile devices, use any type of wireless network, and even establish their own ad hoc networks in the event that all other available networks fail, all of which can make a big difference during a disaster.
ABOUT COMPUTER MODELING: This project is a form of computer modeling. By taking the data of where sex offenders live and computing an accumulated threat for a location, the model considers many variables. Computer modeling is used to simulate the structure and appearance of both static objects, such as building architecture, and dynamic situations, such as a football game. Computer models can enable the user to test the consequences of choices and decisions. They can provide cutaway views that let you see aspects of an object that would be invisible in the real artifact, as well as visualization tools that can provide many different perspectives. Physical models that reproduce behavior are limited by the physics of the world, while computer models have much looser bounds.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.