Dashboards Provide Real-Time Situational Awareness About Raging Wildfires

Getting accurate, timely, and useful information and data about current emergencies like the raging wildfires in the West can be a challenge. After all, there’s many agencies including local, state, and federal governments, volunteer orgs, and other responding agencies that are all providing websites, blogs, webmaps, tweets, and other information to the public. Making sense of it all can be a challenge indeed. This is where Dashboards can shine!

We’ve recently shared pointers and tips about many webmaps, web services, and other mapping resources designed to keep the public informed about the status of wildfires. For us “GeoGeeks” many of us already have our favorite web services bookmarked in our web browsers or marked as favorites in ArcGIS Online – many of you may have developed your own webmaps as well. We recently followed a tip from an Esri staffer on Twitter about a very clever Story Map. This particular map series shares a number of Dashboards that are providing current information about all the large wildfires burning in California. Turns out this is an ideal way to share a wealth of information and data feeds in one convenient web app.

Fire Situation Awareness
Fire Situation Awareness story map from CalOES

Fire Situation Awareness


The dashboard presented above is from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and was developed using the dashboard layout in webappbuilder. Users are presented with an overview map along with active fire point locations and perimeters. Incident summaries are updated daily and the dashboard provides navigation to individual map panes for each major incident. For example, jumping to the Carr Fire tab provides a detailed view of the fire perimeter. The dashboard provides data updates for various elements like acres burned, personnel on site, engines responding, and percent containment. The dashboard is an excellent way to enable access to a wealth of data that is constantly updated. Check out the CalOES Fire Situational Awareness Map here

About Dashboards

Dashboard for ArcGIS enable the map author to easily create dashboards that allow you to present your data on a single screen for at-a-glance decision making, without writing any code. There are currently a couple of options for users to create custom dashboards.

First the dashboard layout in webappbuilder. All the widgets in the panel open simultaneously when the app starts. It is designed to visualize widgets and their communication directly. You can modify the predefined layout by adding or removing grids, or resizing the grids in the panel. By default, most on-screen widgets are turned off except the Home, Zoom Slider, and Full Screen widgets. Optionally, you can turn on the Header widget to display the logo, the app name, and links. See more about the Web Appbuilder themes HERE.

Web Appbuilder Themes

The Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS is a fantastic way to visualize and share data in a very compelling way. Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS is a configurable web app that provides location-aware data visualization and analytics for a real-time operational view of people, services, assets, and events. From a dynamic dashboard, view the activities and key performance indicators most vital to meeting your organization’s objectives. Operations Dashboard also provides a common interface to monitor progress and identify vulnerabilities that could compromise the success of an organization’s mission. Now, dashboards can be authored completely in a web browser. There is no need to download and install an app anymore. Users can launch Operations Dashboard by using their ArcGIS organizational account. They can also browse and manage dashboards within their ArcGIS organizational content or on the dashboard home page.

With Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, you can do the following:

  • In easy steps, create and share operation views that include maps, lists, charts, gauges, and more
  • Monitor services, deliveries, people, vehicles, and more, anywhere in the world
  • Use your operation view in a browser. Nothing to install
  • Use maps with dynamic data sources to provide real-time views.
  • Configure charts, gauges, histograms, and more, to provide statistical context.
  • Create and share operation views that are focused on a specific need.
  • Design views for use on multiple monitors or single-display devices.
  • Create custom widgets and tools to suit your needs.

Bern Szukalski of Esri recently shared a fine example of an web service built with operations dashboard. The wildfire status dashboard was built using the Dashboards and included basemaps from the Living Atlas. The map shares a list of active wildfires. fire locations, perimeters, new activity, and summary charts of fires by State, by cause, and total acres burnt. Check out the map HERE

Learn more about Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS here

ArcGIS Resources for Wildfire Maps

Are you considering creating a map or application to assist in addressing a topic or problem in your area? Esri has made available an awesome resource that shares examples of configuring ArcGIS for various wildfire information scenarios. See examples of a situational awareness viewer, map of living atlas layers, smoke forecasts and more. View applications and data layers by choosing from the left side accordion, then click Source to view item details and to add to your map or share into your organization.

Finally, for those of you putting together teams in your organization to create incident response maps and public information maps and resources, be sure to use Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online to assist in managing your data and your groups! See Also:

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