See Publications for more details and also Using GIS in SAR research papers
The process of searching for and rescuing people in distress provides an appealing spatial problem for geographers to support and for testing theoretical developments in the real-world. Essentially, the fundamental goals of search and rescue (Search, Rescue, and Survival/Support; O’Connor 2007) are to:
More recently, SAR researchers and professionals have also cited a need for proactive incident prevention as a critical responsibility, known as preventative search and rescue (PSAR, Hung and Townes 2007). Each of these components of SAR are inherently spatial and should be evaluated in light of emerging technology and theoretical advances in spatial sciences.
If Geographic Information Science (GIScience) is the theory behind the development, use, and application of geographic information systems (GISystems; Goodchild 1992), then SAR is an ideal topic for GIScientists to study.
Below are abstracts from my current research and just a few examples of how GIS can be applied to SAR and how we can learn much about GIScience in the process.