Got Live Feeds? The USGS Releases the Natural Hazard Support System based on ArcGIS Server

The USGS Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center (RMGSC), based in Denver, CO, recently released their Natural Hazard Support System (NHSS) application based on ArcGIS Server and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.  This application ( contains a wealth of dynamic data including Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Wildfires (from GeoMAC), NOAA Weather Warnings and Watches and much more.

The Data Resources page discusses the sources of each of the data sets as well as the legend.  Also at the bottom of the page you’ll see info on the publicly available ArcGIS Server services:

Three map services were created for use in the NHSS, and each of these services is also publicly available for use by other Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Map Service Name: nhss_haz

Map Service Content: U.S. Volcanoes, Other Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Wildfires, Wildfire Perimeters

Map Service Projection: GCS_WGS_1984

Map Service URL’s:  


Map Service Name: nhss_weat

Map Service Content: Weather Watches and Warnings

Map Service Projection: GCS_WGS_1984

Map Service URL’s:  


Map Service Name: nhss_info

Map Service Content: Stream Gages, RAWS, Tide Stations

Map Service Projection: GCS_WGS_1984

Map Service URL’s:

These services can easily be added to the Emergency Management Common Operational Picture Template or Sample Flex Viewer by just adding a few lines to the config.xml file.   Simply copy the following XML in to the livemaps section of the config.xml file above the other layers:


label="USGS NHSS Other Information"

label="USGS NHSS Weather"

label="USGS NHSS Natural Hazards"



Furthermore you can leverage the data from and use it within the Live Layers Widgets in the Flex Viewer.  This will allow you to bring more attention to the data layer(s) and bring up some of the record details.

Create an xml configuration file for the Live Layer perhaps by making a copy of the LiveLayerWidget.xml in the comesrisolutionsflexviewerwidgets directory of the web application and call it LiveLayerWidgetWildfires.xml.

Edit the file to include the information needed such as REST End Point to the map layer, the fields to include as well as any hyperlink information.  To do this for the Wildfires layer use the following:

      <query>OBJECTID > 0</query>

Finally add an entry to the config.xml file within the widgets section for this Live Layer Widget:

<widget label="Wildfires" 
menu="menuOplayers" config="com/esri/solutions/flexviewer/widgets/LiveLayerWidgetWildfires.xml">


Note that by clicking on the orange arrow that you will be taken to the hyperlink for more information.  In this case the hyperlink leads to the National Interagency Fire Center.  This technique can be used to highlight any of the dynamic data from the NHSS ArcGIS Server layers.

In summary the Natural Hazard Support System provides a wealth of information and you should visit the site often to keep abreast of current hazard information.  For more details about this application click here – Furthermore if you’re already using other applications like the Emergency Management Template COP or the Flex Sample Viewer you can easily add the services from the USGS NHSS application.

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  1. rdbutger says:

    How about a little bit more help with these services? The Weather Watches/Warnings layer is great, but I am sure every area will want to query with the LIveLayerWidget to show only data within their region. Though the FIPS field is identified as a string, it queries like a number — so “FIPS > 12000″ works, and I can get “FIPS > 12000 AND FIPS 12000 AND FIPS < 13000" won't work with my LiveLayerWidget and returns an error.

    Has anybody else figured out how to better query to only get watches/warnings for your region?

  2. rdbutger says:

    Just got the query to work with “FIPS BETWEEN 12000 AND 13000″, and gives me only the watches and warnings for Florida.