Saturday, March 11, 2017

Embed A Public Map

This is a blog post to explain how to embed a public map.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Presentation to MAGIP on SARGIS


On February 8th, 2017 the NAPSG Foundation provided a virtual workshop for the Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP) and local search and rescue team members.  While MAGIP attendees attended on-site (Bozeman, Montana), they also extended the invitation to the Public Safety GIS and SAR Community to attend via WebEx. You can watch this presentation here via WebEx video.

The objective of this presentation was to foster exchange between the Geospatial Professional and Search and Rescue Communities by providing an overview of capabilities with geospatial decision support tools and building a common language. 

We feel we have achieved this objective. As a result of this event, the local SAR Teams and GIS Professionals plan to meet more regularly, share data, and train on using geospatial decision support tools for search operations. In addition, the audience agreed they would like to participate in future SARGIS workshops, including the 9th Annual Search and Rescue GIS Workshop (SARGIS9 - November 2017, Rocky Mountain Region). 


We used the SARGIS8 Training Story Map to guide the presentation and discussion. This website includes downloadable tutorials and interactive examples to show your local SAR Team. You can access this free training resource here:

In addition, the case-study we used to kick-off the event was based on a group of photographers who were stranded in the mountains north of Bozeman, Montana. Geospatial intelligence was critical in this mission and the Story Map allows us to review the mission and learn from it.  You can access this interactive Story Map here:

For information about GIS for Search and Rescue and to begin developing geospatial decision support tools for your SAR Team, see the Wilderness Search and Rescue Capability and Readiness Assessment Tool (CARAT).

Special thanks to Curtis DeVault of MAGIP, Angela Pervél of NAPSG Foundation, and Don Ferguson SARWG Co-chair for helping to make this event possible despite my crazy schedule and presenting remotely from New Zealand.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Port Hills Fire in New Zealand

Here in New Zealand we have had a few especially strong wildfire events. One, the Port Hills fire burned in the wildland urban interface and led to damaged structures and evacuations. This is common in the US and Australia but much less so here in the more temperate and moisture rich islands. 

As such, fire and emergency management agencies are only just beginning to realize the importance of public information maps in these situations. Fortunately, Canterbury Maps, the GIS Team at Environment Canterbury were able to step in on their first day of activation and stand up a Public Information Map for the community. They did this using WebGIS via ArcGIS Online. This map is cloud-hosted and able to handle the heavy load of viewers in emergency situations. 

Radio New Zealand was the first to pick this map up and share authoritative information in an article and they deserve recognition as well. Well done to all involved - especially the first responders doing their best to protect lives and property. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Resources from #SARGIS8 now available!

From November 14th through the 16th, 2016 the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation brought together more than 75 of the Nation’s Search & Rescue (SAR) leaders and GIS professionals for the 8th annual Search & Rescue GIS Workshop. 

The content available should be of interest to anyone interested in maps, GIS, public safety, or search and rescue so please do share.

To see the website with full links to the agenda and presentation go to:

To access our SARGIS Basic Training Website go to: 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Are You Ready For #SARGIS8?

The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation's Search & Rescue GIS Working Group is hosting the 8th Annual SARGIS Workshop and Meeting on November 14th-16th, 2016.

Cost - Free! **Space is limited** Training and workshop materials will be provided at no cost.

Location - USGS: 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA 20192 

What is it about?
SARGIS8 will focus on the capabilities and best practices for Search & Rescue and geospatial technologies with 2 days of hands-on training. 

  • Day 1: Monday - Plenary for SAR and GIS practitioners: Keynotes, presentations, & panel discussions (space is limited to 120 participants) 
  • Day 2: Tuesday - Two tracks of technical GIS training (Basic/Web GIS & Advanced/Desktop GIS - space is limited to 60 participants)
  • Day 3: Wednesday - Two tracks of technical GIS training, culminating in a joint table-top exercise (space is limited to 60 participants)
Who should attend?
Search and Rescue Personnel (paid and unpaid) who want to know more about GIS for SAR
GIS technical professionals & staff that currently support SAR missions and/or are interested in learning how they can help SAR teams
Other Public Safety Operators, Decision makers, & Policy makers

Why Participate?
Join leading local, state, and Federal public safety agencies that are charting new ground for how GIS can be applied to missing person incidents.

Go to this Registration Page for more details and to lock in your place at this event. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

SpatiaLABS for WiSAR Release

Four new SpatiaLABS are now available using Search and Rescue in Yosemite National Park as their topic. These are FREE and ideal for beginners to geographic information systems (GIS), search and rescue professionals, or even GIS Specialists who are new to ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online

In the first of these four labs, you will use search and rescue incident locations to create an interactive web map and web mapping application in ArcGIS Online to explore the distribution of incidents in Yosemite National Park.  
Click here to try the web mapping application created in the exercise.

In the second lab, you will open a map project in ArcGIS Pro and create assignment maps for the emergency search operations.  

In the third lab, you will map where searchers have been deployed and what they have found.  

In the fourth lab, you will create a “clue log” that can be edited anywhere and with any device.
Click here to try the Clue Log application.

In order to try these tutorials you will need access to ArcGIS. First of all, if you work for a government agency or are a University Student, you most likely have access to ArcGIS so check with your IT or GIS Administrator. If not, here are some other options:

  1. Start a free 60-day trial
  2. Join the nonprofit organization program (Most SAR Teams qualify) 
  3. ArcGIS for Personal Use 
For University instructors - SpatiaLABS are designed to freely modified to fit your needs. 

"You'll find instructional materials in Microsoft Word and other common formats. Go ahead, change or add self-assessment questions, tweak the context for the analysis, rework the lab to use local data. Customize SpatiaLABS to suit your non-commercial needs." 

Special thanks to the SpatiaLABS team and Joe Kerski for his post on these SpatiaLABS