The ability to view critical assets on a map in relation to other geo-tagged information is essential to any successful all-hazard risk management activity, from prevention and preparedness to response and recovery.
The Haystax engineering team has developed some powerful new map capabilities to enhance our users’ domain awareness and increase their decision-making speed.
Two of the most significant improvements have been made to the map that’s displayed in the Location pane of each page in the Assets app.
One enables the optional display of nearby assets (image below left) to increase the user’s contextual understanding of an asset’s surrounding area. These additional assets, which are shaded differently to distinguish them from the primary asset, can be filtered by distance, at ranges of 100 to 1,000 feet. They can further be filtered with the addition of tags, which are a popular feature across all Haystax apps. Tags can include everything from ‘evacuation shelter’ to ‘covid vaccination site’ to ‘hazmat’ – basically anything the user wishes to identify by name or characteristic.
The second enhancement increases from one to three the number of available base map formats: street view (default), satellite imagery and topographic (image below right). This allows users to personalize their views and take advantage of unique visual features offered by different map types.
Asset layers and selectable map types are just the start, with additional map upgrades coming soon. For example, users seeking the ability to create points of interest in an asset page or in the Haystax Field Reports app will be able to do so with a new ‘custom markers’ feature. After selecting from an image library the user can then drag the marker to a specific spot on any Assets page map, where it is affixed permanently as a map layer.
The sky’s the limit in terms of defining and entering markers for each critical asset (mockup images left and right below). For example:
- A metropolitan fire department conducting a building pre-inspection could geo-locate important items in advance, such as ladders, hydrants, hazardous materials and electrical panels, so that when responding to a fire it could quickly locate all important resources for that building.
- A public school district could define which of its campuses is a designated evacuation shelter prior to a natural disaster, locate utilities like electrical panels, telecom exchanges or water shutoffs and mark reunification points to be utilized in the event of an emergency.
- A corporate security team could create and enter any of its own custom markers, like the ones above, or add new ones like access badge reader locations, perimeter gates and other points of controlled entry.
Beyond the Assets and Field Reports apps, Haystax is planning in the near future to deploy the same custom-marker capability for our other apps, including Incidents, Events and Threat Streams.
In the past several months, there have been some separate enhancements to the main Haystax Map app, a graphical viewing environment that gives our users the ability to view their critical assets in geographic context with other assets plus related Haystax app data like incidents, scheduled events and digital threat feeds.
Following major map upgrades in previous years (blog posts here and here), one of the recent innovations on the Map app is the creation of a library of custom asset icons, which allow the user to define each asset visually. In this was users can distinguish between, say, a school, office, hospital, bank or government facility. These icons sit inside the circle of each blue asset pin, for more rapid identification of one asset among many on the map (image below).
Another upgrade was deployed for users of the Field Reports app. The map on the ‘Create New Field Report’ form now activates both the Field Reports and Map apps, to allow easy access to activate location sharing/blue-force tracking within the Map. This provides improved situational awareness by ops center staff and commanders.
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Note: Want to learn more about maps can increase your domain awareness? Visit our Public Safety Solutions page for videos, fact sheets and other relevant information, or simply click here to request a personal demo of any of our six mission-specific solutions.