iPad App Helps Forest Service Distribute Maps for Firefighters

Stephanie Overby February 8, 2013
iPad App Helps Forest Service Distribute Maps for Firefighters
The U.S. Forest Service deploys a mobile map application for firefighters and emergency responders to use in the field and for tactical planning.

The U.S. Forest Service deploys a mobile map application for firefighters and emergency responders to use in the field and for tactical planning

The Project: Implement a mobile map application for U.S. Forest Service firefighters and emergency-situation units to use in the field and for tactical planning.

The Business Case: As situation unit leader for the U.S. Forest Service, Chris Brenzel oversees production and distribution of the maps (and fire-behavior assessments and weather forecasts) for his 52-person emergency-response team and the camps of 2,000 to 5,000 federal firefighters responding to disasters across the country. While the map-distribution process had improved since the days of cutting up topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, taping them together and running them through the photocopier, it remained labor- and paper-intensive, with Brenzel producing up to 150,000 map pages a day. Because of the time required for printing, the deadline for editing the maps was 9 p.m. the night before a shift. With fast-moving wildfires, the maps distributed to firefighters at 6 a.m. were already antiquated.

Source: CIO (US)

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