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Addressing Emergencies: Data Governance Lessons From Hurricane María

The lack of a robust and transparent address infrastructure affected the assessment, emergency preparedness, rescue and reconstruction operations efforts for Puerto Rico during and after Hurricane María. 

Please join us for a conversation on Puerto Rico’s address data governance issues. 

An address infrastructure is an essential public good; the establishment and maintenance of good civic addresses save lives, is critical for public and private services and an important tool for fostering overall social and economic development. 

While the focus of this talk will be about recent experiences in Puerto Rico, over half of the world's population still have problems with addressing infrastructure. Come join us for this lively learning opportunity and discussion. 

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to secure your spot. 



Raúl Ríos-Díaz - ZIPDatum LLC, Address Consultant, Digital Media Creations, Inc.

Mr. Ríos-Díaz has been involved with addressing and postal issues for almost 30 years, specializing in Postal Strategy Consulting and addressing solutions for the Caribbean. Mr. Ríos-Díaz brings expertise in the development of local solutions to handle Puerto Rican-style addresses. He worked on creating the addressing standards used in Puerto Rico and was responsible for data collection efforts in Puerto Rico to create the largest delivery point database available for the island. More recently, his work to validate and geocode address data for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) demonstrated the value of specialized software to handle Puerto Rico addresses. He is the former Address Management System Manager for the US Postal Service (USPS) in charge of PR and the USVI.

Jon Sperling, Ph.D., GISP GIS Specialist 

Dr. Sperling recently retired as a Senior Policy Analyst of Geographic Information and Analysis at HUD’s Office of Policy, Development and Research. Previously, he was a key player in the initial building of the Census TIGER database which helped jumpstart the GIS "revolution” that propelled hundreds of new businesses offering location-based services. He was responsible for overseeing the development of the first “intelligent” digital street map for Puerto Rico and its first inclusion of address information. Jon authored several papers on the census geography and addressing challenges of Puerto Rico for the 1990, 2000 and 2010 Censuses and was directly involved in enabling digital spatial data sharing capabilities and training workshops with local governments as well as efforts to enhance coordinate accuracy and address data quality. Dr. Sperling was part of a small research team that recently received the ACM SIGSPATIAL 10 Year Impact Award in 2018.

The Initiative for Civic Address Systems Assessment in Puerto Rico (iCASA PR) is an organization started after the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico in 2018, committed to help communities overcome the problems of “data invisibility” by evaluating and improving their civic addressing systems based on data-driven quantitative and qualitative assessments.