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2017

By Mike King, Industry Manager, CAD/Law Enforcement, Esri

 

Hundreds of technology and government professionals gathered at the APCO Public Safety Broadband Summit in Washington, DC, in May 2017. A great deal of attention was focused on the keynote address by FirstNet CEO Michael Poth, and the audience showed much interest in the organization's preparations for nationwide broadband deployment.

 

Following Poth, Mark Golaszewski, FirstNet director of applications, revealed a number of goals for application development including a strategy to have apps that enable users in public safety to adopt and leverage the technologies of the commercial marketplace, a vision to propagate innovation, and an ecosystem that allows FirstNet and the commercial community to offer the best available tools and technologies available.

 

Golaszewski declared that these "high-priority" applications needed to include GIS mapping and the ability to visualize large volumes of data with the Internet of Things (IoT). The apps should be able to synthesize actionable information in operational viewers and include information such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) data, vehicle locations, and other sensor data in a connected or unconnected, secure environment.

 

Esri had an opportunity to offer our GIS strategy for Next Generation 911 (NG911) immediately following the FirstNet presentation, and we took advantage of the timing to show how we are answering the FirstNet challenge with out-of-the-box web applications, tools, and templates. Since most government agencies are using Esri for their geospatial responsibilities, taking advantage of these free tools (for license holders) makes good fiscal sense, and those in attendance were counseled to speak with their jurisdictional GIS staff to see what licensing was available already.

 

The remainder of this blog will focus on a few of those FirstNet challenges, with examples of how Esri's web applications are answering the call, sometimes in a matter of hours.

 

Situational Awareness—Esri's out-of-the-box templates provide powerful ways to visualize data from a host of services: agencies' own internal data services, enterprise GIS, demographics, other sensor data feeds, and information in formats as simple as spreadsheets stored on a computer's desktop.

 

 

This example—calls for service from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Police Department—was built in a day using Esri's Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS (a free template for license holders.) The dashboard shows a number of important things. In the upper left corner, we see Waze data being visualized on 1 of 12 maps that include street data, aerial imagery, and topography. Across the top is the current CAD queue, and in the middle of the left side, we see current CAD calls for service. Customizable metrics are displayed across the bottom of the screen, with video from 1 of 939 cameras appearing in the lower right corner. Above the closed circuit television (CCTV) image, in the center, is the Citizen Tips section, and above that is a report of all road closures in the city.

 

Operational dashboards like this are available to download for free and configure if you are an Esri license holder and can consume data hosted on-premises, in the cloud, on a desktop, or through a hybrid approach.

 

Portable Reporting with Credentialing—Esri provides tools for agencies to easily develop web applications for use in the field on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. These mobile apps enable data collection and allow greater collaboration among agencies, leading to increased understanding. The example below shows how one agency used ArcGIS out of the box to develop a tool for intelligence gathering in a serial killer investigation.

 

 

Information Synthesis—Analyzing large volumes of data is difficult. As we embrace the challenge to visualize and analyze larger datasets, including sensor data found through the IoT, the need for tools and technologies that handle big data becomes more critical. Insights for ArcGIS makes the exploration, analysis, and iteration of such data easier than ever with its drag-and-drop capabilities, the infusion of demographic data, and guided workflows. Now big data doesn't seem so big. This example shows billions of financial records being analyzed. At Esri, we say, "Rather than look for a needle in a haystack, simply burn down the haystack, pick up the needle, and move on to the next question."

 


Analyzing and Interpreting Sensor Data—As the IoT continues to bloom, more data is becoming available each day. By using an enterprise GIS, public safety professionals can begin to examine and understand how one type of data interacts with or influences another. This example shows Waze data in Budapest, Hungary, and examines the reliability of Waze against other public media surrounding major events.

 

 

Embracing NG911 Data—As more information becomes available through NG911, public safety professionals will need the ability to consume and analyze the data, sometimes on the fly. Enterprise GIS enables users to do just that, and challenges like 3D and indoor routing are surmountable now.

 

Esri is pleased to support the first responders who will rely on FirstNet, and we will continue to invest in research and development to assist the first responder community. For more information on the tools and templates available through Esri, visit esri.com/industries/public-safety and resources.arcgis.com/en/home/

After a watching the successful impact HIFLD for Harvey had on the response and recovery efforts for that disaster – supporting 6,000+ unique users – DHS has decided to launch a similar site to support the impending relief efforts for Hurricane Irma.  This decision was the result of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) working with the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data (HIFLD) Committee Chair and Federal GeoPlatform system owner, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Geospatial Management Office to create this new Open Data website.  This new site is publicly accessible and based on the Esri ArcGIS Open Data application:

 

  

HIFLD for Irma – a sister Open Data site to HIFLD Open – is dedicated to unifying the response and recovery data aggregation efforts for Hurricane Irma.  HIFLD for Irma, creates a single authoritative source of relevant data for use by local, state, Federal, tribal, private sector, and community partners. It serves as a hub to aggregate and disseminate the best available relevant open data to support the massive mapping activities that are ongoing in support for Hurricane Irma response and recovery. New data and information will be added as it becomes available and is rapidly validated.

 

This site was created and is being supported by Esri Federal Small Business Specialty program partner ArdentMC.

 

If your organization has data to contribute, please send an email to HIFLD@hq.dhs.gov. Start using HIFLD for Irma today!  #HIFLD4Irma

 

Image result for hifld data

As organizations transition from disaster response to recovery, moving from the office to the field for data collection is critical.  During recovery, communities will begin conducting formal damage assessments, assessing debris management needs, inspecting infrastructure and assets, and collecting general surveys of needs moving forward. Each of these efforts are ideal use cases for mobile GIS, and at Esri we want to provide you with a quick and easy way to get your field crews up and running today. There are two options for you to consider:

 

Option 1: Rapid Deployment Solution – the easy button!

The first, and possibly the quickest way to get started is to take advantage of Esri’s rapidly deployable solution.  Within a matter of minutes Esri can deploy a solution directly to you that is based on ArcGIS Online. This provides you with named users and ready-to-use apps for damage assessment, debris management, and general field surveys. You do not have to configure a thing. Esri will set usernames and passwords (based on the number of users you need), configure all apps, and then turn over the solution to you to get started collecting data. With this rapid deployment solution, you will get access to mobile apps including Collector for ArcGIS, Survey123 for ArcGIS and Explorer for ArcGIS. We’ll work together to get you up and running in no time.

 

For those facing a disaster, you can request this solution through the Esri Disaster Response Program (DRP). To get started collecting field data quickly, submit a request for technical support here t the DRP: http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/form.  Simply add ‘interested in Esri’s Field Collection system’ in the notes and our team will contact you with to start deploying the solution.

 

Option 2: Self Deployment using your own ArcGIS Organization

There are two methods to get started adding users and configuring your own ArcGIS Online org.  Both are very similar and are based on if you have email addresses of the users ahead of time and how your users will access the application for the first time.  

   In our first scenario, the Administrator sets up users without an initial notification to their email address.  Field Users are manually given their Username and Password, they log into the mobile application, and the mobile application asks them to reset their Password.  The Field User is then set to go out and collect data.  This is the best option if you don't have the email addresses of your Field Users before setting up.  

   In our second scenario, the Administrator triggers ArcGIS Online or Enterprise to email Field Users with a link that Field Users will use to change their Password and fill out their security question.  The security question enables Field Users to more easily reset their Password w/o the need for admin intervention. 

 

Self Deployment Method: Add members without sending invitations

Directions for the Administrator

If you don't have the email addresses of your Field Users, the quickest way to get your field users collecting data in the field securely is to invite them without sending an email. Keep in mind, Field Users will be unable to request a Password reset from ArcGIS Online/Enterprise (after the initial Password reset) automatically without administrator involvement. 

 

1.   Establish your Group(s) and information products

When setting up a large group of users for field collection, it's important to first set up the environment that they'll be invited to collaborate in. It's best to share relevant web maps with editable features and/or Survey123 Forms (damage assessment, field assets, etc) to the ArcGIS Online/Enterprise Group when they are ready for the field.  You are able to add new configurations for collection after members have been invited to the group, but it's best to have some of the priority information products in the group before inviting new members.   

  

2. Invite Members

With Administrator privileges, the "Organization" tab at the top will give you the dialog to "Invite Members."

 

3.  Add members without sending invitation

While there are many options for inviting new users, this workflow grants user permissions without sending an email. This saves a few steps for the field users so they won't need to verify and accept their invitation.  If you've enabled enterprise logins in your ArcGIS Online/Enterprise Organization, you'll have an additional option in this list.

4. Enter Users "One at a time" or "From a File"

A great new capability that saves time for the administrator is to add users in a bulk upload of a CSV file that contain Email, First Name, Last Name, Username, Password, Level and Role.  Field Users will be required to reset their Password at first login, so pick something easy to remember and communicate.  Your Field Users will need a Level 2  license in order to edit data in the field, and the default role should be set as User.  If you have Custom Roles established, ensure that they are Level 2 and have edit privileges enabled.  

 

The CSV will look like this: 

 

The Field User will reset their Password as soon as they log in, so it's best to use simple and easily-communicated Passwords.  

5. Specify Groups and Add Members

Specify groups that contain the web maps and features for field collection to ensure that field users will have web maps to open and begin their work as soon as they can.  

6. Give your Field Users their Username and Password

Distribute Usernames and Passwords to your Field Users however you choose.  

 

Directions for the Field User

 

1. Download the App

Survey123, Collector, Explorer and Workforce are all available on Apple and Android app stores and are free to download.  Download the application on your mobile device.  

 

2. Sign in on a Mobile App

Using the username and Password that were given to you by your Administrator, sign in to your mobile application (Survey123, Collector or Explorer) and sign in for the first time. 

 

3. Reset your Password

You'll be asked to reset your Password at your first login.  Remember this Password, as you would need to contact the Administrator for a Password reset. 

 

4. Begin using your Field App

Quick Reference Instructions for: 

Survey123

Collector

Explorer

Workforce

 

Self Deployment Method: Add Member and Notify them via email

 

Directions for the Administrator 

This is a quick way to set up Field Users that have email registered on their devices.  The process for the Field User's first login will be slightly longer, but they will be able to request their Username or Password reset if either are forgotten later. 

 

1.   Establish your Group(s) and information products

When setting up a large group of users for field collection, it's important to first set up the environment that they'll be invited to collaborate in.  It's best to share relevant web maps with editable features and/or Survey123 Forms (damage assessment, field assets, etc) to the ArcGIS Online/Enterprise Group when they are ready for the field.  You are able to add new configurations for collection after members have been invited to the group, but it's best to have some of the priority information products in the group before inviting new members.  

2. Invite Members

With Administrator privileges, the "Organization" tab at the top will give you the dialog to "Invite Members."

 

3.  Add members and notify them via email

This workflow grants user permissions and verifies user identity via email.  If you've enabled enterprise logins in your ArcGIS Online/Enterprise Organization, you'll have an additional option in this list.

4. Enter Users "One at a time" or "From a File"

A great new capability that saves time for the administrator is to add users in a bulk upload of a CSV file that contain Email, First Name, Last Name, Username, Level and Role.  Field Users will be required to reset their Password at first login, so pick something easy to remember and communicate.  Your Field Users will need a Level 2 User or Publisher Role in order to edit data in the field.  If you have Custom Roles established, ensure that they are Level 2 and have edit privileges.  

 

The CSV will look like this: 

 

The Field User will reset their Password and set security questions as soon as they verify their identity by clicking the link that ArcGIS emails them.  

5. Specify Groups and Send Invitation

Specify groups that contain the web maps and features for field collection to ensure that field users will have web maps to open and begin their work as soon as they can. 

 

 

When you click "Send Invitation", the Field Users will be emailed a link that will activate the Username, Request a Password Change and set a Security Question.  Field Users will be unable to log in with their mobile devices without completing this step.  

 

Directions for the Field User

 

1. Download the App

Survey123, Collector, Explorer and Workforce are all available on Apple and Android app stores and are free to download.  Download the application on your mobile device.  

 

2. Click Link emailed to you from "ArcGIS Notifications" (notifications@arcgis.com)

 

 

3. Set your Password and Security Question

The link will take you to a browser to enter your Password and set a security question.  Enter this information and click 'Sign in'.  You'll be directed to your profile information, but you are not required to edit information.

 

4. Open the Field App and log in

Exit your email and open the field app that you've been directed to use.  Enter your username and Password.

 

5. Begin using your Field App

Quick Reference Instructions for: 

Survey123

Collector

Explorer

Workforce

After a disaster event, one of the longest running operations is removal and disposal of debris. Between damaged and destroyed structures and built up vegetation and dirt, the work to clean up an area affected turns into a community effort. Citizens affected will have observations that may help recovery teams target efforts and the recovery teams need to track the location, status, and disposition of debris throughout the process. 

 

We previously posted about a community engagement solution you can use to solicit input from affected citizens about remaining debris, damage, and other information happening in their neighborhood.  You can find that here: How To: Engage citizens to report community observations

 

To support recovery team efforts, ArcGIS for Emergency Management includes a solution for Debris Reporting and monitoring.  This solution includes:

  • an information model for identifying the location of debris in the field using Collector for ArcGIS and monitoring it as it moves through the disposal process
  • an Operations Dashboard configuration that enables response and recovery stakeholders to monitor the total volume of debris being processed and the overall progress of the clean up

 

Debris Reports Monitoring

View an example operational view for monitoring debris identification and removal operations. 

 

Get Started

 

To set up the Debris Reporting solution, you'll need three ingredients:

  1. a Hosted Feature Layer based on the Debris Reports template service (or ArcGIS Server Feature Service),
  2. a Web Map containing your Debris Reports layer, and 
  3. an Operations Dashboard view configured to monitor debris removal

 

Sample data, an ArcMap document you can use to publish the Debris Reports layer to your ArcGIS Server, an step by step instructions for configuring these elements for your organization have been documented on the ArcGIS for Emergency Management Debris Reporting solution site. 

 

Quick Start Option

 

The Debris Reporting solution (and many more) can be quickly deployed to your ArcGIS Online Organization or Portal for ArcGIS using the ArcGIS Solutions Deployment Tool.  Here is a short, two minute video on using the Deployment Tool to create the hosted feature layer, a web map for use in Collector for ArcGIS, and the Operations Dashboard view with nearly one click.

 

 

Bonus Content

 

  • We have shared a service template for Disposal Locations and Emergency Facilities. You can use these templates to create new hosted feature layers in your organization, then populate the layers with the locations to be used for staging, transfer, and disposal of debris. 
  • Attached to this post is a template Survey 123 for ArcGIS form which can be used in your field operations.  
    • You may receive validation warnings with the choices in this form, you can safely click OK on these.
    • Update the submission_url setting to point this form to your existing Debris Reports hosted feature layer.