I’m pleased to announce the release of several public safety solutions by Esri. These solutions are built for first responders and public safety personnel. Some of them are included with the new release of ArcGIS Pro 2.5 and anyone who works with GIS technology should give them careful consideration.
For example, the new Address Data Managementsolution is a configuration of ArcGIS Pro that can be used by mapping technicians to maintain an inventory of road center-lines, valid road names, site addresses, and related mailing addresses. It comes after many months of hard work and includes recommendations from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the U.S. Postal Service. This solution gives database managers step-by-step instructions and sample data to help them in transitioning older databases to this newly updated format. You can learn more about this updated solution by watching our webinar titled, “GIS Focus for PSAPs in 2020.”
To compliment this free offering, the Address Field Operations solution provides Esri license holders a collection of maps and apps that can be used to crowd-source missing address information, manage address field operations, and collect address information while in the field.
As we continue our focus on migrating 2D data to 3D, our emphasis turns to visualizing z-axis information (elevation) on maps, mobile data terminals, smartphones, dispatch screens and command/control center video walls.
Emergency managers can benefit from the Flood Impact Analysis solution, a configuration of ArcGIS Pro that can be used to develop flooding scenarios and visualize the impact of flooding. The Road Network Data Management solution provides a configuration that can be used to maintain an inventory of public roads, road intersections, and physical road characteristics (such as speed limit, functional class, lane width, and number of lanes). Finally the Transit Safety solution, a collection of maps and apps that can be used by transit safety staff to document safety issues and manage corrective actions or mitigation activities.
I’m excited about the enhancement that have been made to the Crime Analysis Toolbar solution which organizes existing tools for crime analysis workflows. It provides several new tools that support data management, tactical and strategic analysis, investigative analysis, and information sharing needs.
In closing, I would like to mention this new enhancement for firefighters, the Target Hazard Analysis solution which can be used to identify properties and buildings that could result in a loss of life, or have a negative impact on the community if a fire were to occur.
Responders make critical decisions based on limited information every day. Agencies should strive to generate verified data for emergency response to provide that responder with the right data at the right time. Fire and EMS departments can integrate disparate data from multiple sources that can be used to perform incident assessments, monitor response actions, and to provide a higher level of responder safety based on verifiable intelligence.
Fire and EMS agencies need tools to adapt to fluid risks and to support a variety of mission requirements. Today, we must be able to identify changing incident conditions, collaborate and unify operations in an all hazard environment, rapidly respond to events, communicate with the public, and analyze the success of those efforts. Through the power of geospatial technology, organizations can now adopt a smarter, more integrative approach to emergency response.
The ever-present threat of terrorist activity and complex day to day operations regularly challenge the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). The FDNY continually seeks technology and methods to increase the impact of their response to significant incidents.
Esri Public Safety personnel and our partner Leica Geosystems were deployed to a full-scale exercise with the Fire Department of New York’s Incident Management Team (IMT). A simulated improvised explosive device devastates a Brooklyn subway tunnel during a weekday morning commute. As units are responding to that incident, a large vessel in Jamaica Bay suffers an explosion, sending multiple patients into the water.
The exercise was designed to evaluate the ability of the FDNY Special Operations Command (SOC) to manage the response to two separate simulated incidents involving rescue operations and wide area search without impacting day to day operations. The exercise involved several hundred responders.
The objectives of the FDNY’s IMT during the evaluation of LIDAR and GIS technology included:
To leverage technology to support the SOC response
Create products including Dashboards, Collector, and digital mapping applications in support of the exercise
Provide real time data collection using mobile applications
To collect, process and view LIDAR data from the Leica platform
To process data collected by UAS using Esri Drone2Map software
To share the data collected using the IMT Esri ArcGIS Online organization to give the Incident Commanders the information they need to manage the incident
The incident map was created using multiple data sources including parcel layer data, road networks, 3D building models, and subway maps. The integration of this data allowed for a comprehensive assessment by command officers and operations personnel.
Real time data collection was performed during the initial response by operational personnel. Esri’s Collector application provided incident intelligence related to victim counts, damage assessment, and the area of operations.
Rapid Processing of LIDAR Data
Leica Geosystems provided two products that perform LIDAR modeling. One was deployed from fixed points throughout the operational area. The second was a backpack based model that personnel could “walk through” the incident area on a mobile device.
This data, creating a 3D model of the tunnel in near total darkness, could provide the command staff the ability to virtually fly through the tunnel within minutes of gathering the data. The LIDAR model identified areas of damage, vehicles, and victim locations.
The LIDAR data was shared through the IMT’s AGOL organization. This allowed the incident data to be accessed by any stakeholder that the command staff deemed appropriate.
FDNY UAS operators were able to provide imagery during the event. This imagery was integrated into the common operating picture. This provided responders with the most up to date site information possible.
The integration of all relevant data to produce a comprehensive picture of the incident was well received by the command staff. The FDNY has multiple operations personnel heavily engaged in the use of GIS products to improve safety and efficiencies in response operations. The FDNY has developed the capability to use mobile applications for field data collection. Operational personnel not directly involved in the use of GIS recognized its value during this operation. There was demonstrated capability in the IMT’s ability to use mobile applications and build Operations Dashboards to provide a common operating picture. The IMT GIS personnel are highly skilled in the use of GIS for emergency response.
Public safety agencies worldwide already have access to many of the capabilities used during this exercise. These capabilities are applicable to daily operations, disaster response, planning activities, and many other areas of public safety agency operations.
If you have any questions about deploying these capabilities for your agency, please feel free to contact Esri.
Last week I had the opportunity to provide a keynote address at the annual conference of one of our computer-aided dispatch partners. My remarks centered on leveraging geographic information system (GIS) technology in a presentation titled "The Art of the Possible—GIS for PSAPs."
I focused my comments on four important, and often disregarded, topics in the 911 industry: digital information sharing, migrating GIS data from 2D to 3D, embracing out-of-the-box web applications, and enhancing business intelligence tools with GIS, specifically focusing on Insights for ArcGIS.
Digital Information Sharing Agencies around the world are frustrated with the antiquated analog approach of uploading address database information, service areas, and other CAD foundational information on a periodic basis. They recognize that the moment the data is uploaded, it is outdated.
Forward-thinking agencies are embracing digital transformation, allowing end users to take advantage of the most up-to-date information the moment it becomes authoritative. This effort requires agencies to use modern technologies like ArcGIS Hub or Portal for ArcGIS. A hub or portal allows agencies to manage and share geospatial data quickly and securely to those with a need to know.
ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish initiatives and goals. Organizations of any type and any size can maximize engagement, communication, collaboration, and data sharing using the ArcGIS Hub initiative-based approach.
With ArcGIS Hub, organizations can leverage their existing data and technology to work together with internal and external stakeholders while tracking progress, improving outcomes, and creating vibrant communities. Use Hub to share data, create unlimited websites, organize your work around initiatives, enable collaboration, and inspire action.
Migrating Your 2D GIS Data to 3D Soon, public safety answering point (PSAP) personnel and first responders will begin receiving z-axis location information (elevation) in the packet of 911 data received in the PSAP. As this information becomes available, agencies will need to view this information on 3D maps to better understand and respond.
The FCC ruling on location accuracy and indoor routing will soon become a reality across America, and it is incumbent upon PSAPs to be able to appropriately respond to the data. This will require significant effort on the part of private and public entities to fully embrace and prepare for the eventuality. With the tools that help you build a 3D infrastructure, your agency can also leverage the analytic functions of 3D, including solutions like the line of sight capabilities and building height and distance measurements.
Embracing Out-of-the-Box Web Applications Delivering comprehensive GIS capabilities to the field is possible with web applications and native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. Dashboards, field collection tools, workforce assignment, and tracking are all within reach with Esri's apps for field operations, a collection of integrated, location-based apps that work wherever you do. That means you will have functioning and integrated maps on your desktop, on your mobile devices, or in your browser. It has been proven effective in disconnected environments and on all broadband networks, including the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
Using field apps improves coordination, achieves operational efficiencies, and helps you gain insight. Your authoritative data deserves a solution as specialized as the insight it provides. ArcGIS ensures that your teams in the field or in the command center are using the same data to reduce errors, boost productivity, increase operational understanding, and save money.
Enhance Business Intelligence Tools with ArcGIS Insights I have watched closely as agencies around the world grapple with visualizing and understanding data. ArcGIS Insights offers a data analytics workbench where you can explore spatial and nonspatial data in an easy-to-use drag-and-drop environment. You don't need to be an expert in data or geographic information systems. You simply access the data and begin to explore
and solve spatial problems. You'll answer questions you didn't know you needed to ask and quickly deliver powerful results.
I'm excited to announce that ArcGIS Insights is now available in beta for Windows and macOS! This means you can work connected or disconnected, right from your desktop. Check it out at ArcGIS Insights.
In July of this year, public safety professionals from around the world descended on San Diego, California to attend Esri’s 4-day National Security and Public Safety Summit. Over 700 commanders and staff came together to share the challenges and successes they’ve had while protecting over the past year.
As the conference began, I stood in awe, hand over heart, as the flag of the United States was presented. I listened intently as our national anthem was powerfully sung. I felt a sense of gratitude at the reverence displayed by our many international colleagues and government leaders in attendance.
During a “moment of silence” for those who had lost their lives in the line of duty last year, my mind raced back to personal friends who died in the line of duty. Their deaths and the accompanying heartache felt by comrades and loved ones suddenly raced back and I found myself stirred with deep emotion. I could see the faces of many of the attendees, and they too seemed to be humbly honoring those great heroes from around the world.
Once the summit was underway, I saw police officers, firefighters and emergency managers sitting side-by-side, interacting with each other, both during and in-between sessions. Their common mission of public protection powerfully eliminated preconceived misconceptions and personal biases. Together, they were learning from each other, embracing commonalities and solving problems.
I marveled at the great work being done globally, like the work of the Lebanese Red Cross who adopted a new GIS strategy to improve ambulance response times. These efforts are now saving lives and our colleagues in Lebanon are leveraging that investment to improve their mobile web applications for improved data collection and information sharing.
The summit provided examples of real-world, national security and public safety challenges, like those shared by CEO Brian Fontes of NENA, the National Emergency Number Association. Fontes shared NENA’s newly created national PSAP Registry portal, designed to spatially show all public safety answering points (command & control centers). The Registry will support many of the next generation call-taking efforts.
Other presentations included how U.S. Customs and Border Protection is saving lives through the Missing Migrant Program. This program was designed to save lives along the 4,200 square miles of the Rio Grande Valley and evidence shows that it’s working.
Richard Reed of the FirstNet Authority shared how GIS is used in the rollout of the first voice and data broadband network dedicated to first-responders and Colonel Volker Kozok showed how the German Armed Forces are using GIS to combat hybrid warfare.
At one point, I found myself smiling as I reflected on what I was witnessing. It was a true “coming together” of several life-saving disciplines and it included all of the fun-loving banter that exists between first-responders.
My personal example goes like this (and sounds like a broken record) as several old firefighter friends approached me with the same humor I’ve heard for 40 years, saying, “Hey King, if you could have scored two more points on your public safety exam, you could have been a fireman too!” Not to be outdone, and in true form to my law enforcement brotherhood, I simply responded with some of the many reasons why law enforcement is a more noble career, and why we always won the town celebration tug-o’-wars – not just by brawn… but also our brilliance!
The National Security and Public Safety Summit offered everyone in attendance with a unique balance between visionary leader keynotes, forward-thinking presentations and networking opportunities where attendees could learn about the rapid advances that are occurring globally, including how GIS is influencing and empowering first-responders. Let's continue the conversation in this GeoNet discussion, how will you work to build resilience and collaborate in the new normal?
An important aspect about Emergency Management following Recovery is that lessons learned from the Response and Recovery actions inform Mitigation and Preparedness actions.
Understanding Flooding from a torrential downpour or some other upstream event uses a different set of modelling capabilities than quick-and-dirty calculations to get immediate answers during disaster response. When you have time, and you're exploring deeper analysis capabilities to predict what-if flooding scenarios in your jurisdiction, consider using this lesson to more deeply understand this desktop analytical workflow using ArcGIS Pro.
In these lessons, you'll create the unit hydrographs for an outlet on the downstream end of the Little River. First, you'll prepare elevation data and use it to determine the watershed area for the outlet. Based on your watershed and terrain data, you'll create a velocity field, which determines how fast water tends to move in your study area. Using this velocity field, you'll create an isochrone map, which assesses the time it takes for water to travel to the outlet from anywhere in the watershed. Lastly, you'll use the isochrone map to derive a unit hydrograph and interpret what it says about the potential for floods in Stowe.
Check out the latest blog from Ryan Lanclos, Director of Public Safety Industry Solutions. This is the second of two stories about how Alabama responded to the deadly twisters of March 3 and details Lee County’s effort to assess needs and deliver relief to those devastated and trapped by the disaster.
First responders use maps and apps to understand the impact of a disaster.
The Emergency Operations Center receives real-time feeds from field apps and aggregates the full picture for situational awareness.
Data gathered immediately after the response helps local authorities during the long-term recovery and rebuilding effort.