Western Australia Government Selects TatukGIS Customer EmerGeo for Emergency Management Solution
Perth, Western Australia – September 12, 2006
The Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) has selected the EmerGeo GIS suit of applications to undertake a pilot project to support cross-agency emergency management. The EmerGeo software is developed by EmerGeo Solutions of Vancouver, Canada using the TatukGIS Developer Kernel and Internet Server products. EmerGeo was implemented at FESA by EmerGeo Solutions’ Australian partner, Spatial Vision.
FESA has made a commitment to leverage the State Government’s Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP) to improve the Emergency Management community’s capability to access and disseminate spatial information for the delivery of emergency services. The EmerGeo web server (developed on top of the TatukGIS Internet Server) and Smart Client (developed from the TatukGIS Developer Kernel) have been configured to support the development of a SLIP Emergency Portal for managing a range of emergency incidents including hazardous materials, wildfire, and search and rescue operations. This portal is being developed as a common facility across all the government, commercial, and civil lines of business that have a requirement for geospatial data and services. SLIP represents an exciting new ‘whole government’ approach to shared information services to facilitate improvement of business processes and systems which use land information. Early feedback from the SLIP Emergency Management project team was that “EmerGeo had only been installed for a month, and its performance was excellent. We had no significant issues reported, and the user feedback was positive.”
EmerGeo is an OpenGIS®-based system designed to enhance the ability of government and industry emergency planners and responders in the field and operation centers to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate in a secure and effective way. The solution uses both client and server based tools to provide real time spatial information to emergency managers through both browser interfaces and through smart-clients which can operate in situations where network connectivity is either not available or unreliable; a common situation during disasters. For example, EmerGeo is often used by first responders in the field to record what is happening on the ground and plan tactical operations (e.g. establishing security perimeters). Field staff can send these updated maps to an emergency operations center via a wireless internet/intranet network when it is available.
The EmerGeo solution supports an optional interface to the highly regarded WebEOC® emergency management provided by ESi (Emergency Services integrators). WebEOC was the world’s first web-based emergency management communications system and is presently the world’s leading crisis management software, used by many emergency management organizations at the state and local government level, U.S. federal government organizations (e.g., NASA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Homeland Security), domestic and international airlines, public utilities, corporations, universities, etc. The combined WebEOC and EmerGeo solution enables emergency planners and responders to establish a virtual EOC environment with controlled publishing of their incident, resource, critical infrastructure and other data layers overlaid on base map data being fed from the leading commercial GIS systems – ArcIMS®, Geomedia®, MapGuide®, etc. – via OpenGIS® interfaces such as Web Map Services (WMS). The result is truely integrated, multi-agency interoperability solution.
As explains EmerGeo’ s Director Mike Morrow : “We don’t compete with these other commercial GIS products and systems – we leverage the existing map data managed in these systems to give emergency managers the tools to do their work.” Morrow adds: “The EmerGeo solution not only works with customer’s existing information systems, it also works with their emergency management systems and its use does not require the skills of a highly trained GIS technician. Simplicity of use is very important in a high stress, disaster situation.”
Regarding the choice of TatukGIS for the GIS technology, Timothy Webb, EmerGeo Chief Technology Officer comments: “TatukGIS provides us with powerful client and server based capabilities with a relatively small software and hardware footprint and with licensing models that make sense for emergency management agencies. The royalty-free client license has helped us keep our software license fees low so even the smallest communities affected by disasters can benefit from EmerGeo”.
In addition to the FESA implementation, the EmerGeo solution is running in several emergency operations centers and mobile command posts across North America and Australia, including at the British Columbia Ministry of Forests’ Fire Center, Brunswick County (North Carolina) Emergency Operations Center, Gold Coast City’s (Australia) Disaster Coordination Center, Waterloo Regional Municipality’s Emergency (Ontario, Canada) Operations Center, and the City of Vancouver’s Emergency Operations Center (British Columbia, Canada).
EmerGeo Solutions, Inc. provides consulting services and fully integrated situation awareness technology solutions to help manage risk in Emergency Management, Environment Health & Safety, Security and Business Resilience for government and industry. Our EmerGeo software application provides all decision-makers with timely access to critical information and the decision-support tools needed before, during and after emergencies and major events.
EmerGeo’s unique managed Common Operating Picture (mCOP™) technology allows information stored in siloed systems to be shared securely and in a controlled way among work groups so that all decision-makers are working from the most up-to-date, accurate and validated information available. Our hosted Learning Management System (eLearning) ensures customers can implement our technology and best practices in a cost-effective manner.