Last week, we released version 1.0 of Snow Common Operational Picture (SnowCOP). SnowCOP is an ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Viewer for Flex application that can be used by public works, road commission, or department of transportation staff to monitor snow event responses and determine which streets (or areas within a local government) aren’t getting enough attention. It is an interactive web application that allows managers and district operations leaders to correlate citizen complaints, snowplow assignments, current vehicle locations, and planned response activities to maximize the deployment of resources when responding to the event.
SnowCOP connects real-time observations with performance reporting so resources can be effectively allocated during snow events. It uses a Tracking Server feed to visualize real-time locations of vehicles and assets. This feed can be used to visualize the location of vehicles and other assets used in the response plan. If you use a different automated vehicle location (AVL) application for your vehicles or assets, you can insert a Flex widget from your AVL vendor in the SnowCOP application and leverage that feed. If you do not currently use an AVL application in your organization, you can remove this functionality from the SnowCOP application but still take advantage of the planning layers and several of the performance reports.
The performance reports found in SnowCOP help operations managers and/or district managers analyze how accurately their response activities reflect planned activities, as well as how effectively their response activities mitigate requests for service from citizens in the community. These performance reports can be generated for each public works district and snow map (a term used to identify a unique geography a plow or asset is assigned to within a district) in a jurisdiction. They are populated by two Python scripts provided with the application and can be scheduled to run on a regular basis during a storm or snow event. Once you configure and schedule the reports, the reports will illustrate the following:
- Whether there are a disproportional number of snow complaints relative to the snowplow activity in a given public works district or snow map
- How close the actual plow activity (number of actual GPS observations) was to the planned plow activity (number of projected GPS observations) in a given public works district or snow map
SnowCOP provides key information operations managers need during an event. It’s a role-based application that allows analysis to be done in an operations center for the entire jurisdiction or in a given maintenance district by the district manager. And by providing a standard overview of the snow event, along with real-time vehicle information and regular performance reporting information, it helps public works, road commission, or department of transportation operations staff make more effective, consistent, and timely decisions.
So that is a quick overview of SnowCOP. If you’d like to see it in action, you can watch a short video we’ve posted on the resource center. In the future, we’ll share blog posts on other public works maps and apps you can find on the ArcGIS for Local Government resource center. As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions when you begin to leverage the new SnowCOP application with ArcGIS 10.
One final note: We’d like to acknowledge the City of Boston for its help developing the SnowCOP application. The requirements provided by the City of Boston reflect best practices and innovative ideas the city developed while responding to major snow events.