HOW GIS LOCATION SHARING APP HELPED FIND A MISSING CHILD
How GIS Location Sharing App Helped Find A Missing Child
March 2020, 4-year-old Evelyn “Vardie” Sides vanished in the County area of the rural Alabama woods.
Authorities said she had been under the supervision of her septuagenarian caretaker, and walking her dog when she and the dog “just disappeared.” The caretaker called 911 and rescue teams swung into action.
Within hours, her parents and the community frantic with worry had organized a search that increased to include 400 volunteers, two helicopters, and more local authority search teams.
The volunteers trooped en masse into the woods, searching, calling out her name and that of her dog. Terrified with what they might find, scared that they may be losing time as night fell without a trace of the girl or her dog.
Hours later, there was still no sign of the little girl.
Where was four-year-old Vardie?
Prayers were said, routes were checked, paths were crossed and re-crossed but still, no one could find the beautiful little redhead angel.
Until Ken Busby was called to the scene some hours into the search.
As the county’s GIS coordinator, he had already printed out an aerial map of the surrounding area. But there was a better way to help the search effort.
He got his laptop and used live GIS to help with tracking everything in real-time.
Ken Busby contacted Esri’s Disaster Response Program (DRP) team for assistance. He requested location-sharing ArcGIS software to help him and other members of the response team coordinate their search and rescue efforts remotely and in real-time.
By the next morning, the team had access to an ArcGIS mobile app with location-sharing capabilities. It is now part of ArcGIS Field Maps.
After briefing everyone, all members of the search parties were able to download the location-sharing app to their mobile devices.
Each person that went out got a login for the app. Members of each search party showed on the map in the same color. That way, they could keep track of all the groupings
At the incident command post, the team set up monitors to display maps with real-time updates on the location of each search party. Ken Busby kept constant radio contact with the searchers to keep them on the right track.
Because of Lee County’s rural setting and wooded terrain, location sharing was vital. Using the GIS location tracking map, the command post could see in real-time where the search groups were and keep them heading in the right direction at all times.
With this technology, they were able to determine what areas the search team had covered so they didn’t end up going in circles.
They kept at it until they found footsteps in the woods on the second day.
They took pictures of the footsteps and sent them to Ken Busby who uploaded the geotagged pictures to ArcGIS Pro. From there, the response team was able to map the girl’s direction of travel based on the photo locations and ascertain where she had likely gone.
Both GIS mapping and location sharing capabilities allowed the search and rescue team to home in on a specific area of interest.
This proved to be a turning point for the search effort.
By narrowing the search area, the team was able to locate the girl and her dog on the third day.
Thankfully, they were unharmed. Little Vardie was reunited with her family and taken to the hospital for checks.
Although previously unfamiliar with the location sharing app, its ease of use and the quick response from Esri’s DRP team enabled the search and rescue team to speedily implement this new capability into its emergency operation.
The story above is just one example of the capabilities of GIS when put into total use. It can help security agencies locate people and objects in real-time. Help solve complex cases or just like in the case above, reunite families.
GIS is an amazing technological tool that empowers urban planners with enhanced visibility into data. GIS tools help monitor fluctuations over time, gauge the feasibility of proposed projects, evaluate the viability of location, modeling and predict the effects of trends on the environment.
GIS contributes to urban planning with its ability to better understand the current needs of a city, and then design to fulfill those needs. By processing geospatial data from satellite imaging, aerial photography, and remote sensors, GIS helps urban planners gain a detailed perspective on land and infrastructure.
7 WAYS GIS HELPS URBAN PLANNERS:
GIS expertise, tools, and technologies help run a variety of queries and analytics using data to evaluate how new construction will fit in with existing infrastructure and meet regulatory demands.
Using GIS software, researchers can generate visualizations of any area’s current environmental conditions to allow urban planners draw comparisons between the anticipated results of an area’s proposed development plans.
GIS software shows all relevant stakeholders exactly what the changes on the ground will look like. These visualizations can help planners make better decisions as regards building, construction, and planning.
Researchers and Geospatial experts can use GIS technologies to review and map the environmental impact of construction frameworks in a particular area for better decision making.
When experts perform land use analysis, it can provide a guide to new architectural development towards areas that are less prone to damage from natural and man-made disasters.
Geographic information can be synthesized with financial data and budgeting; this can help to revitalize an urban area in need of new businesses.
GIS can also map urban development and commercialization in an area to determine the best location for businesses to thrive.
Technological tools and advancements in GIS assist Urban planners across both public and private sector employ data-driven methods to address a wide array of issues that have long-term implications for communities and the surrounding landscape.
A geographic information system GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. It is a computer-based system used to capture, store, analyze, and display geographic information.
Remote sensing entails obtaining information about the Earth’s surface by examining data acquired by a device, which is at a distance from the surface of the earth. Special cameras collect remotely sensed images, which help researchers “sense” things about the Earth.
Some of the differences evident between GIS and Remote Sensing include but are not limited to:
Remote sensing is a surveying and data collection technique, used to survey and collect data regarding an object while GIS is a computer system that consists of software used to analyze the collected data and hardware that the software would operate in.
A GIS system is mostly used for analysis of complex data and to interpret the huge datasets into more meaningful information; meanwhile Remote sensing technology is used to collect the data that is then analysed with GIS. Thisdata provides the necessary information.
Remote sensing technology has a more complex user interface than a GIS system because it is mainly used as a data collection tool. It requires more skilled personnel to interpret the interface. GIS uses a more simplified user interface that allows anyone to learn how to interpret the tons of data in the system.
GIS system is self-sufficient and can be used to analyze large datasets with much less time, money and resources. One person can analyze huge amounts of data to produce more complex information regarding an object or a phenomenon on the earth surface.
Due to its capacity to analyze vast and complex information simultaneously, GIS system supports huge amounts of data at a time and can also allow for unlimited data edits and change without the risk of collapse or damage. Remote sensing data is limited to the specific area being studied, it has limited ability to interpret the data and is also more susceptible to damage.
Based on the above, remote sensing can be seen as propellant for GIS. It provides data which we use a GIS (Geographic Information System) to analyse. Remotely sensed images are only one of many types of data that a GIS can work with. A GIS can analyse spreadsheet data, it can analyse vector data and many other types of data.
THESE FIVE FACTORS DISTINGUISH 3D MAPS FROM REGULAR MAPS
These Five Factors Distinguish 3d Maps From Regular Maps
Three dimensional maps also called 3D maps are digital, defined, virtual representation of components of the earth surface, objects and phenomena in nature and society. They are classified, designed and visualised according to the purpose for which they are created.
3D mapping allows users to profile objects in three dimensions, providing the latest technical methods for visualization and information acquisition. A 3D map provides a realistic view of a location that can be utilized by local authorities and regional planners to ensure construction and development in the right order and direction.
3D maps are important because they are more informative and provide in-depth details of the site or location covered. Detailed and concise 3D mapping makes it easier for a response or follow-up team to be aware of the environment they would be dealing in. These maps not only provide proper and exact location direction of the point of action but also suggests the easiest route to pass through.
It presents any terrain in three-dimensional view essentially bringing them to life or giving them a life-like view which makes it easier for the map user to find, locate or navigate through such landscape. 3D maps use information and coordinates from the real world to gather data that is then presented in a digital form for easy mobility, carriage and deciphering.
Perhaps the most important and most visible factor is the fact that 3D maps are projected onto a three-dimensional object so that the image warps and takes the shape of said object. This means that mountains are depicted as and shown to be high above sea level in a way that is not difficult to understand. Other physical objects as well are coloured and shaped to look natural so incidence of error or confusion in reading are minimal.
3D maps provide very realistic descriptions and depictions. For the construction sector, a 3D map is as useful as a blueprint is. It makes for very easy visualisation of floor plans and identification of possible obstructions which may occur during construction.
It is very flexible. The content that gets projected on the three dimensional object can be altered according to the needs of the projection backdrop.
It improves communication by providing a more accurate representation of ideas and concepts. Accurate models, dimensions and imagery can help to improve comprehension.
It allows the user to explore and present several different possibilities in map making, saving time, cost and enhancing better decision making.
The combination of technological advances in modeling, visualization, data collection, storage,and computing power has provided the tools to propel 3D mapping. Geoinfotech produces the best 3D mapping solutions tailored specially for specific use.
Maps are symbolic diagrams representing selected characteristics or physical features of any place like cities, roads, streets, buildings, lakes etc. It is usually drawn out on a flat surface.
Maps present information about the world in a simple, visual way. They teach about the world by showing sizes and shapes of countries, locations of features, and distances between places.
Maps are created for many different purposes. The purpose determines the type of map that will be created. A primary reason for creating maps is the illustration of details, to determine distance between places and navigate locations. An important factor to note is that maps are a blueprint of history. They can show the stages of development of a region between years and centuries.
As explained above, there are several different kinds of maps, at the very least, we can find 7 kinds of maps namely:
Physical Maps show the physical features of a place or country, like rivers, mountains, forests and lakes. The features are elucidated by means of colours. Each colour depicts a particular feature which anyone who knows how to read maps can easily decode.
Road Maps, which are the most popular type to the non-geographically inclined.
General reference maps show general geographic information of a region
Cadastral Maps show the boundaries and ownership of land parcels.
Climatic Maps which shows information on the climate in a given area.
Topographic Maps show the physical features of an area. These maps use a particular type of line, known as a contour line, to depict different elevations on a map.
Navigation Charts combine aspects of topographic, and other types of maps. They are produced as navigation aids for sailing ships, boats and aircraft.
In this article, we’d illuminate the differences between Topographic maps and other maps on the above list.
As explained above, Topographic maps show physical features. Topographic maps are created from aerial photographs and reveal the contours of the land, including hills, ridges, and valleys, as well as lakes, rivers, creeks, trails, and roads.
What distinguishes a topographic map from others is the use of elevation contour lines to show the shape on the Earth’s surface. These contours are lines connecting points which have the same elevation on the surface of the land above or below sea level. Contour lines show the elevation of the ground.
While other maps might show physical features as well, topographic maps do more by telling the height or depth of each features and how they connect to one another. Topographic maps show latitudes, longitudes, landforms, and elevations. They show mountainous regions, lakes, creeks, rocks etc.
Uses of Topographic Map
Geographic planning or architectural purposes.
For Earth Science and Geography.
It can be used in mining and other purposes like the construction of ponds etc.
It can be used for recreational purposes like hiking or mountain climbing, etc.
It can be used to get detailed description of any area or geographical feature like drainages, landforms, forests, communication or transportation routes, etc.
It can be used to get detailed information on any man-made features.
It can be used in civil engineering as well to to determine where roads, tunnels, and bridges should go in a construction plan.
It can be used by the government for planning or administrative purposes or used by private Industries.
COMPONENTS OF TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS
Relief: Regions of mountains, valleys, slopes, depressions as defined by contours.
Hydrography: Water bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, rapids, waterfalls.
Mostly, these maps have a very comprehensive and detailed structure of any feature that occurs on the surface of the Earth and this structure provides all the information about that particular feature with the help of contour lines and graphical representation.