My idea is to use ArcGIS and its sibling software to improve emergency response in outdoor trails. When someone gets injured emergency responders have to accomplish three tasks
Find out where is the caller is
Figure out how can they get to the caller in the shortest amount of time
Actually go to the caller
Unfourtunatly, those are not easy things to do when someone is located deep within a trail system.
In order to make those tasks easier dispatchers could use ArcExplorer, a desktop application, or a web application to connect to an ArcServer, which would then provide them with landmark, trail, and quickest route data
By having trail landmarks (mile markers, trail intersections, benches, etc) accessible in ArcExplorer, dispatchers will be able to quickly pin-point someone's location if the person says they are at mile marker 54 or a particular trail intersection. Once the dispatcher knows the caller's location, they can send a query to the ArcServer to calculate the closest trail entrance to that location and display the quickest route from the entrance to the location.
Though, knowing the caller's location and the quickest route to get to him/her is only two thirds of the battle. The responders still have to go to them. Since trails are not constructed in grid formation and don't always have clear signage, fire fighters will need some turn by turn directions. In order to accomplish this the responders could use either the turn by turn directions that ArcGIS can produce or a mobile application. The mobile application would also connect to the ArcServer and would display a map of the trails with the calculated route highlighted. The GPS location of the person holding the mobile device would show up as a red dot. Since the responder will know their position relative to the route they need to take, it should be straightforward for them to reach the caller.
This idea is part of a larger project to improve emergency response in the Anchorage, Alaska trails.
I encourage you to check out the project website https://sites.google.com/site/blakinak/