USGS - science for a changing world

Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center


The GECSC is involved in the development, implementation, and hosting of a variety of geospatial applications that support natural hazards monitoring, global/regional studies, and emergency response activities. These applications combine easy access to geospatial data, dynamic near-real-time scientific information, and unique functionality to help address and answer scientific questions about environmental change. They can also contribute to long-term investigation of landscape change, as well as support immediate environmental hazards response.

Current Applications

Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS)
Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS)

The Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS), developed and hosted at the GECSC, offers the public and emergency management communities online maps containing the latest available information on earthquakes, earthquake shakemaps, streamflow data, floods, volcanoes, wildfires, and weather hazards.

IGEMS replaces the Natural Hazards Support System (NHSS), which was one of the first public applications to provide an integrated approach in incorporating a wide range of hazards into a dynamic mapping environment. IGEMS uses the latest software and technology to provide functionality beyond that of the NHSS, including better support for mobile devices.

Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC)
Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC)

GeoMAC is an internet-based mapping application designed to allow Fire Managers and the Public access to dynamically displayed online maps of current fire locations and fire perimeters in the continental U.S. and Alaska. The GeoMAC application is an indispensable tool for aiding fire-personnel by dynamically displaying the most current forest-fire information available from a web browser. The GECSC developed and maintains the site.

National Fire Plan Web Mapping
National Fire Plan Web Mapping

The National Fire Plan was developed in August 2000, following a landmark wildland fire season, with the intent of actively responding to severe wildland fires and their impacts to communities while ensuring sufficient firefighting capacity for the future. The NFP addresses five key points: Firefighting, Rehabilitation, Hazardous Fuels Reduction, Community Assistance, and Accountability.

The National Fire Plan Maps website is an internet-based mapping application that visually portrays the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture land management agencies hazardous fuels program projects in relation to the wildland urban interface communities. These are communities that are within the vicinity of federal lands that are at high risk from wildland fire. The hazardous fuels program reduces the impacts of unwanted wildland fires on communities, natural resources, and cultural resources. Past disruptions of natural fire cycles, as well as other management practices, have resulted in wildfires of increasing intensity and severity. Treatment of hazardous fuel will help reduce the impacts of wildfires on communities and restore health to fire-adapted ecosystems.

National Fire Plan Operations & Reporting System
National Fire Plan Operations & Reporting System (NFPORS)

The National Fire Plan Operations and Reporting System (NFPORS) is an interagency system designed to assist field personnel in managing and reporting accomplishments for work conducted under the National Fire Plan. NFPORS is used by the five federal wildfire agencies to track Hazardous Fuels Reduction (HFR) and Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) treatment projects. NFPORS provides comprehensive National Fire Plan data starting with FY03. NFPORS is the system of record for planning and reporting accomplishments for these two NFP key points.

GECSC personnel developed, implemented, and maintain the spatial portion of NFPORS. The current mapping tool supports NFPORS requirements in three ways: First, it provides a confident method for locating and verifying location for project and treatment units for Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Burned Area Rehabilitation projects; Second, it provides additional location-based information to the NFPORS database (e.g. Congressional District, County); and Third, it provides a mechanism for making and printing maps suited for project execution, guidance, reports, or display. The current mapping tool is a point-based system.

Sierra Wildland Fire Reporting System (SWFRS)
Sierra Wildfire Reporting System (SWFRS)

These applications are being developed by the USGS GECSC for the Southern Sierra Fire Management Officers from Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, and National Park Service. The SWFRS application is a prototype comprehensive reporting system for all federal fires in the southern and central Sierra Nevada range. The purpose of this reporting system tool is to enhance fire managers ability to collaborate and better understand fire and smoke impacts across multi-agency landscapes. This application provides reporting forms and tools for digitizing point and perimeter locations for small fires. Dispatchers are able to enter fire information as the information becomes available.

A primary function of this system is providing real-time air quality information to the California Air Quality Advisory Board during prescribed-burn operations. The current site has web links to cameras located throughout the area which are used to view the smoke conditions.

Links to Real-Time Smoke Monitoring sites using Beta Attenuation Mass monitors (BAMs) are provided. BAMs measure particulates in the air, specifically smoke. Each monitor can measure either or both 2.5 and 10 micron particulates depending on the filters used. The web site is updated hourly with 5-minute averages from the operating site.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday March 26 2015