Tag: Pacific Disaster Center

10 Steps to Configure the COP Template within Your Organization

The Public Safety COP Template is designed to be starter application to help you quickly implement the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex to provide situational awareness for your organization.  This download package contains many of the tools and feeds that you have seen in our demonstrations and training.  If you already have ArcGIS Server installed and configured you can go through these steps in about an hour.  Obviously having an ArcGIS Server instance available somewhere within your organization is a prerequisite.  Your data should be well organized and you should have your operational layers and basemaps published.  This blog post contains the 10 basic steps to get this application set up within your organization.

To get started you can download this template from http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=1d90b418b78e40158914bd5178b6892f.  For these 10 steps we are going to basically walk through the main configuration file (config.xml).  More information is in the help documentation – see http://help.arcgis.com/en/webapps/flexviewer/help/mainconfig.htm

Step 1 – Pick your title and subtitle

Up at the top select the title and subtitle for your application.  Often terms like GIS get lost on the broader Public Safety Community.  Terms like Common Operational Picture (COP) or Situational Awareness seem to resonate more.  In some cases specific application names and/or acronyms seem to take on a life of their own.  For example applications like Virginia’s VIPER or Florida’s GATOR applications are great examples of this.  Consider coming up with a good acronym (such as an aggressive animal) for your organization.

Step 2 – Pick your logo

Next find an image to include in the upper left of the application.  This image should be 48 x 48 pixels.

Optionally include your logo over the map as a Static Image Widget – see – http://help.arcgis.com/en/webapps/flexviewer/help/widgets/staticimage_widget.htm


Step 3- Pick your colors

There are several color options that you can change quickly.  See – http://help.arcgis.com/en/webapps/flexviewer/help/styling.htm.  I’ve been coached by our graphics department not to go overboard and have colors so bright that they distract from the map.  Setting the colors to match your organizations current web theme or “brand” can be quickly achieved by setting the colors appropriately. 


Step 4 – Set your initial extent

Set the initial extent of your map for your jurisdiction.  There is a handy helper utility here – http://help.arcgis.com/en/webapps/flexviewer/help/extenthelper/flexviewer_extenthelper.html – where you can zoom in to an area and copy the initial extent parameters and paste it in to your config.xml file.  Note to make sure you match the aspect ratio of the helper utility to how our app will be normally displayed.


Step 5 – Basemaps

In order to provide context to your operational layers select the basemaps that are appropriate for your organization.  New in version 2.2 of the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex you can combine local basemaps with global basemaps like those from ArcGIS Online or Bing.  There are several local government templates for basemaps.  Those include:

Step 6 – Live feeds from other organizations

The COP Template is already configured with live feeds from both the USGS and Pacific Disaster Center.  Add other feeds such as your State or Location Department of Transportation or make your own using the Live Feeds Template.


Step 7 – Your operational data

The next step is to organize the data you manage.  From the Emergency Management perspective this can include things like shelters, incidents, damage assessment, and field crew locations.  The COP template provides layers for these.  The other thing to consider is organizing your critical infrastructure data.  Access to other business systems is also important; this is where the “Common” in COP comes in to play and things like Computer-Aided Dispatch, AVL, and Traffic Systems are important to be connected to. 


Step 8 – Configure Public Safety COP widgets

The Public Safety COP Templates comes with three custom widgets – the ERG Widget, Report by Exception and Find Closest Facility.  Configure these widgets to point to your own data.  For example you can configure the ERG Widget to point to your own critical infrastructure layer.


Step 9 – Get other widgets and organize them

There are many widgets that come with the application out of the box.  There additional widgets from the community – http://help.arcgis.com/en/webapps/flexviewer/gallery.html.  I’ve listed some of the Public Safety related widgets here:

Step 10 – Configure the Splash Screen

Finally configure the Splash Widget for your organization using HTML formatting standards.  You can include hyperlinks.

Now that you have this set up promote this within your organization!  Perhaps you can use this in support of upcoming exercise.  Here’s an example of the COP Template that I have configured in support of the 2011 National Level Exercise:


Here are some additional resources that may be helpful as you move forward:

Introduction to the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex – FREE recorded Live Training Seminar – http://training.esri.com/acb2000/showdetl.cfm?did=6&Product_id=983

If you are looking to go from a configurator to a developer here are some good training resources:



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Configuring the Esri Social Media / VGI Application

Last week, you may have read about lessons learned developing a web map for volunteered geographic information (VGI) and social media on the ArcGIS Server Blog.  This is an application that has evolved this year and has been used to support many disasters including the Gulf Oil Spill,  hurricanes, flooding in Pakistan and wildfires  This work has been featured in stories by Computerworld, Emergency Management Magazine, CNN and Fox News.  This web application is built with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript and combines ArcGIS Online basemaps, dynamic information from sources like the USGS and Pacific Disaster Center, Social Media and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) via an ArcGIS 10 feature service

The source code for this application is available for download from ArcGIS.com.  You can download and configure this application for use within your organization.  To get started there are a couple of steps that should be fairly straight forward for most web programmers.  These steps are outlined in the documentation that is included with the download.  First, set your extent.  Next, pick you map layers (either rendered as graphics or via dynamic map services).  Then, pick your social media filters, and finally, set up and configure your feature service. 

Here’s an example of the application configured to convey information to the public regarding a train derailment scenario that we’ve used in many of our demonstrations.


In this case the Social Media filters have been changed to “Louisville” to pick up Tweets, YouTube, and Flickr photos with that tag.

For more details about the application and configuring it check out the documentation that comes in the download package.

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Mapping Indonesia's Earthquakes and Volcanoes using ArcGIS Online

Indonesia was hard-hit by an earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption, all occurring within a short timeframe. The earthquake happened on Monday night, and registered 7.7 on the Richter Scale. The subsequent tsunami triggered by the quake flattened several villages and a resort, leaving hundreds dead and many hundreds more still missing. Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanos, erupted soon after the earthquake killing at least 28 people and coating the region with ash.

The Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) monitors many sources of disaster event information (like NOAA and USGS) and publishes continually updated information in real-time via ArcGIS Server. PDC shares these services via ArcGIS Online, where you can discover and use them to create your own map to take a closer look at these disastrous events.

Start by opening the ArcGIS.com viewer and choose Add. Below we’ve searched ArcGIS Online for “PDC” to discover the available services, choosing PDC Active Hazards to add to our map.

The PDC Active Hazards service includes a collection of dynamically updated information that’s culled from sources in near real-time. These are published as sublayers in the single PDC Active Hazards ArcGIS service. For our map we want to view just two of the sublayers – earthquakes and volcanoes.

To view a subset of all available information in the service, we open the map contents, and click PDC Active Hazards (the service name) to view its sublayers. Below we’ve checked the Active_Volcano and Recent_Earthquake sublayers to view them on our map.


Next we zoom to Indonesia, where the cluster of earthquakes and active Mount Merapi volcano can be seen, and save and share our map publicly via our ArcGIS Online account. There it can be discovered and viewed by visiting ArcGIS.com or using the built-in ArcGIS Online search capabilities in ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Explorer Online, or ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. The map can also be viewed using ArcGIS for iOS, a free application for your iPhone or iPad that you can download from the Apple store.

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Mapping Hurricane Igor and Hurricane Julia

According to the National Hurricane Center, as of this morning Hurricane Igor was located approximately 430 miles east northeast of the Leeward Islands and approximately 910 miles south southeast of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds had increased overnight and were measured at 140 miles per hour - a very strong storm indeed, with a weakening Hurricane Julia just a little further east.

The Pacific Disaster Center has published a variety of layers in their active hazards map service, including earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and more. To view the latest hurricane data, go to ArcGIS.com and choose Make a Map. This will open the ArcGIS.com viewer with the World Topographic basemap. In Find enter ”PDC” or “hazards” then click Go to locate the PDC Active Hazards map service, as shown below:

After adding the service you’ll see something like the map below. That’s Hurricane Karl across Mexico,and Igor and Julia in the Atlantic.

Click Details, then Show Contents, and you’ll see the PDC Active Hazards layer in your map. Click the layer name and you can view its sublayers, and toggle the ones you want to display.

The Pacific Disaster Center has its own group which contains other maps and apps they’ve shared.

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Public Safety Resource Center Common Operational Picture Template Updated!

The Emergency Management Common Operational Picture Template on the Public Safety Resource Center has recently been updated.  Here is what’s new:

The workflow has changed slightly where you now select the select the spill location first and then it gives you the option to look up the current wind direction by clicking on the Lookup wind button.

The results tell you the wind direction at the closest weather station as well as the time of the last update.  This is based on the results of another Geoprocessing service which is included in the application.

The results are then displayed as before.

  • The source code for the application is now available in the Flex Community Code Gallery
  • The Report by Exception widgets for both GeoRSS and Live Layer Widgets are now included. This is something that the VIPER application uses and the VDEM folks discuss in their video. Note these are the same tools that are available as a separate entry in the Flex Community Code Gallery.

By clicking on an entry in either the GeoRSS or Live Layer Report by Exception Widget

You’ll query the layers that have been configured to show what’s in proximity.

So in this case you’re not seeing all the schools, just those in proximity to the incident – hence – Report by Exception.  This is something that is highly configurable and you can easily set the layers you want to query and the analysis type (buffer versus drive time, etc.)

We hope you find these updates useful and they help you in your mission.  If you have any comments or suggestions on what we’ve provided as always please either comment below or e-mail us at ArcGISTeamPublicSafety@esri.com.

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Live Data Feeds From the Pacific Disaster Center Now Available

Access to live feeds of information within the Common Operational Picture enhances Situational Awareness.  We all know that finding good sources of information that are reliable and from authoritative sources is the challenge. Now the good news: the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC)  has made their rich set of dynamic data available as ArcGIS Server services.  The geographic extent of available data is pretty broad, and in most cases, is worldwide.  The data comes from their DisasterAWARE system and the REST Service end point for this data can be found at – http://ags.pdc.org/rest/services/GHIN.  The data can also be accessed via the Web, ArcGIS Online and also with ArcGIS Desktop.

The crossdomain.xml file is in place so the data can easily be incorporated in to Emergency Management COP Template or the Sample Flex Viewer.  To add these services simply add the following two lines to the livemaps section of the config.xml file:

<mapservice label=”PDC Models” type=”dynamic” visible=”false” alpha=”0.75″>http://ags.pdc.org/rest/services/GHIN/PDC_Models/MapServer</mapservice>

      <mapservice label=”PDC Active Hazards” type=”dynamic” visible=”true” alpha=”1.0″>http://ags.pdc.org/rest/services/GHIN/PDC_Active_Hazards/MapServer</mapservice>

Here’s a screen snap shot of the Emergency Management COP Template with the layers added:

You can also leverage these with the Live Layer Widget.  Here we see Live Layer widget configured with the Active Hazards layer on the map:

This content has also been registered with ArcGIS Online and is available through the Pacific Disaster Center Group that has been set up.  Here are links for the three entries in that group:

These map services can be added to the Web Map, as seen below, or opened in ArcMap.

The following is a list of layers that are in the the Active Hazards service (http://ags.pdc.org/rest/services/GHIN/PDC_Active_Hazards/MapServer).  There is more detailed information within the link to the metadata including the source, update frequency, etc.

Here is the list of layers and links to the metadata for the Models service (http://ags.pdc.org/rest/services/GHIN/PDC_Models/MapServer):

Since its inception, the PDC has been committed to better information products and analysis for Emergency Managers.  The Pacific Disaster Center was established on the island of Maui in 1995 in part due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Iniki which struck the Island of Kauai in 1992.  The release of this dynamic data via ArcIGS Server is a continuation to this commitment.  Indeed, this was recognized by ESRI in 2005 through a Special Achievement in GIS award.

To learn more about PDC, their initiatives and activities there are a variety of fact sheets available.

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