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Emergency Management Webmaps now available in Living Atlas

Emergency Management Webmaps are now available through the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Canada Edition. Learn how these valuable maps can help your organization during emergency events.

An extremely valuable set of Emergency Management Webmaps have recently been added to ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Canada Edition. These web maps are a curated repository of web services for Emergency Management strategic decision making in Canada. They will help organizations significantly enhance Situational Awareness during emergency events, natural disasters, civil unrest or other unforeseen events. These Emergency Management web maps are organized by each province and territory in Canada.

Screenshot of the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Canada Edition, showing search capabilities and map type.

You might be asking, “What layers of geospatial data are in these web maps?”  

Well, it depends.

As organizations are continuing their transition to web GIS, not only is more data being made available that wasn’t available before, but many more datasets are being updated (sometimes in real time) on an ongoing basis. And more and more organizations are making these datasets available through web services.

As these data sources continue to grow and evolve, it has always been a challenge to keep track of these web services, find new ones, clear out old ones and have access to related metadata. In fact, my colleagues at Esri Canada would regularly be asked by First Responders, Emergency Management organizations, provincial EMOs, Government of Canada agencies and others where they could find relevant web services from across Canada.

This is where Public Safety Canada’s Government Operations Centre (GOC) and the Living Atlas come in.

The ArcGIS Living Atlas has recently accepted the GOC’s nomination of their publicly available Emergency Management Webmaps / Cartes web de gestion d'urgence. This is a fantastic resource that is now more widely available to the Emergency Management community.

Screenshot of the Government Operations Centre dashboard, showing Emergency Management Webmaps, Wildfires webmaps and Tropical Cyclones webmaps.

You might still be asking, “What layers of geospatial data are in these web maps?”

The answer really is…it depends. The Emergency Management web maps are organized by province because different datasets are available with varying levels of accuracy, relevance, and of course, currency. Different regions have historically faced different challenges in meeting Emergency Management requirements and have devoted resources differently to respond to these challenges. With that being said, we are clearly living in an era where organizations are facing incidents, events and crisis situations that we never had to before. To learn more about how organizations are using a web GIS approach to face some of these challenges, check out Ryan Lanclos’ blog posts. Ryan is the Director of Public Safety Solutions at Esri. 

The bottom line is that we don’t know what datasets are going to be required to meet the next challenge. Roads, buildings, bridges, rail lines, ports, schools and other infrastructure can quickly become “critical infrastructure” when a train derailment, fisheries protest, active shooter, wildland fire, or river flooding occurs, not to mention decisions regarding testing locations, vaccine distribution centres, pop-up clinics, etc.

Screenshot of the GOC Provincial and Territorial Wildfire Webmaps

But you can leverage the available web maps from the GOC and have them available for emergency situations. Additionally, when you incorporate these web services into your organization, you can combine these datasets with your own secure data to build ArcGIS Dashboards, story maps and web maps that power mobile applications in the field. Not only are we excited to see what you do with these web services and web maps, but please consider contributing to the Living Atlas yourself to assist others in gaining Situational Awareness.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Jeff Hughes is Esri Canada’s District Manager for Defence and Security in the National Capital Region. He brings 25 years of experience in the GIS industry to help Defence, Intelligence and National Security organizations in highly secure environments leverage web GIS for situational awareness, incident pattern analysis and decision support. Prior to joining Esri Canada, Jeff spent 7 years in Redlands, California, working with Esri Inc. in the Professional Services Division.

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