GISCafe Weekly Review August 9th, 2012

Today’s launch of a new web portal called MapSAR from Esri supplies “search and rescue (SAR) personnel with GIS tools, educational materials, and a virtual community for learning and sharing.”

The website is designed to help Search and Rescue operations find lost people. GIS and SAR professionals from Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Esri, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Mountaineer Rescue Group worked together to develop the MapSAR application. MapSar gives all SAR personnel the tools and knowledge needed to effectively use GIS in their operations, no matter what their technical background. Mapping and planning functions will be able to be carried out within the incident command structure (ICS). GIS skills will be used to track search teams and assets for greater efficiency and safety.

According to press materials, the MapSAR site includes the following:

  • MapSAR Tool: This free tool runs with Esri ArcGIS 10 software and enables maps to be generated, stored, and printed quickly so that search teams can deploy faster to look for missing people.
  • SAR E-books: Two newly published e-books give personnel a rich array of information. Using GIS for Wildland Search and Rescue is a core instruction manual for developing a working knowledge of all things GIS for every team member. MapSAR User’s Manual is for more advanced GIS users and provides an introduction to and a detailed tutorial for MapSAR.
  • Search and Rescue Forum: This peer-to-peer network provides a place to discuss technical challenges.


Offline Editing with Mobile ArcGIS
August 8, 2012  by Matt Sheehan

Our previous blog entry showed the initial steps in working with mobile ArcGIS when offline. We ended the post with “whats next? Offline Feature layers and Offline editing”. And that is the topic of this blog post.

As we have mentioned before as a company our focus is mobile location technology. GIS, and specifically ArcGIS, is an important part of this work. We are also advocates of open source software. Now the so called ‘elephant in the room’ of mobile GIS is offline. Everybody wants it, but there remains no practical solution. Both ESRI and Google have discussed rolling out offline solutions. But nothing is yet in place, at least in published API’s.

We are regularly approached about disconnected mobile maps and offline GIS. Its an itch we started to scratch a while ago. Our goal was initially to put in place a solution in the ArcGIS world, upon which we could also base an open source solution. ESRI, and in particular Mansour Raad, have been a big help in moving this work forward. We now have an end to end solution for working with mobile ArcGIS while offline.

Before we describe the work, here is a video which shows an ArcGIS Online webmap being takes offline; that is basemap, feature layers and editing.

London Olympic medals mapped by Esri story map
August 6, 2012  by Susan Smith

According to an Esri story map, which maps the distribution of London Olympics medals worldwide, the most medals have been won by China, U.S., UK and Russia. Check it out:

Story Map of the London Olympic Medals

Preserving the World’s Forests With Geospatial Solutions
August 3, 2012  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial


It is estimated that 29.6 percent of the Earth’s surface is comprised of forests.  In addition, there are approximately one trillion canopy trees on the globe and nearly two-thirds of land-dwelling creatures inhabit our forests.  Some researchers believe that the way we treat our forests will impact the future of  our earth.

Without a doubt, preserving our forests is of paramount importance to the future of our ecosystem.  Geospatial solutions play a critical role in gaining the insights we need to preserve our natural environment for future generations.

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