US Forest Service Deploys Avenza PDF Maps App for Firefighting – GPS World magazine

The U.S. Forest Service is using Avenza System’s PDF Maps mobile app to deliver interactive digital maps to firefighters and emergency response teams.

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This is a great idea. In a recent research project on what customers want in the way of real time travel information, paper still featured quite high on the wish list, particularly for public transport users. I guess some people still want things like paper timetables and maps, also 30% of people in New Zealand still don’t have a smartphone.

For those that do have a smartphone or tablet, this is a great idea! The only gap for me was the ability to put a situation chart on a bench or table in a command centre or incident management room to share with a group of people.

The concept of maps that are available without communications is of course something that leading car navigation companies do now too. I recently drove about 10 hours in Australia using free HERE maps on my iPhone, some of it was so I could still get directions when I couldn’t get a Vodafone signal, the other reason was to to save money on mobile data, even when there was a signal, I downloaded the entire Australian street map on my mobile at home before I left for free.

In this scenario the Forest Service could easily have all the map data they need at their fingertips for the region they cover and beyond. This would also have a significant impact on the battery life of their devices out in the field, especially when they are in an area where communications is not at its best.

The other really important feature for me, which many of us are still grappling with, is the ability to collaborate on a document from multiple locations in real time. This is extremely valuable in an emergency situation whether people are in the same building or hundreds of miles apart, but also something that should now be normal in any large organization where people collaborate on documents. That way everyone know they are working with the latest version, which in some cases saves time, money and energy and in other cases will save lives and property.

Situation Reports from people dealing with a fire identifying hazards, the location of people and resources that is being updated in real time such that all people who need to can see them would save a huge amount of time and money. A picture speaks a thousand words.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Emergency Services, Forestry, Mobile Maps, PDF Maps, Smartphones and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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