The City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) relies on a Situational Awareness Portal to provide a dynamic constantly changing map reflecting static spatial information, such as event planning layers and security layouts, with real-time data feeds like emergency vehicle locations, 311 calls for service, train and bus locations, weather, and traffic conditions. The system helps officials analyze and interpret the data as needed to coordinate the city’s response to evolving emergencies. Staff can access this data from anywhere on their cellphones or tablets to get the crucial information they need to respond to emergencies and crowd control, and it provides a critical information resource for coordinating a response to major events and large scale emergencies. OEM staff working in the field and in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) share a common real-time operating picture of unfolding events.
The system architecture uses ArcGIS for Server and GeoEvent Processor Extension deployed on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform. This presentation will focus on a custom Android application that integrates directly with OEM’s Situational Awareness Portal, enabling monitoring the location of OEM staff in real time. The application uses native Android libraries, OkHttp Client for Android, Google APIs for Android, and ArcGIS for Android API. It was used during the 2016 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) workers strike that shut down the City’s mass transit service. Security guards with Android phones were stationed on chartered buses transporting city workers to their jobs. The application enabled the EOC staff to monitor the bus locations in real time so they could coordinate a response if an incident occurred that jeopardized passenger safety.