2022 SAG Award Winners

City of Sugar Land

Project Goal

During emergency situations, like natural disasters or man-made incidents, time is of the essence, especially when distributing mission-critical information. In previous years, data was not shared to stakeholders in a timely and efficient manner during emergency events. To combat this and thus increase the city's ability to share information, Sugar Land’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) teamed up with the GIS Department to create a single site for all emergency-related information--the Common Operational Picture, or COP.
Learn more about our application: Site 1

Business Problem Solved

The COP started as a tiered data wishlist created by the Emergency Management Coordinator. GIS proposed using the existing tools they had at hand, in ArcGIS Online, and started sourcing data feeds for the COP. Because of the various data types, OEM and GIS developed the following guiding principles for the site: provide visual cues based on priority, easier access for the frequently utilized data, and the ability for users to customize views for their needs. Lead by these principles, production carried on and within a month, the first version of Sugar Land’s COP was live and shared throughout the organization. At this time, the COP has been used for multiple emergency incidents and three planned special events. While our COP site is internal and for official use only, the City has provided demoes and training to neighboring agencies, with the hope of improving regional data sharing. We’ve gone as far as to help other agencies with their site, using ours as a model.

Technology Implemented

The COP consists of multiple ArcGIS Online Maps (main map, hazard/threat tools, real time weather, etc), Dashboards (Situational Awareness Board, Community Lifeline Status, Critical Infrastructure, etc), and outside web links that all sit in a single Experience. Experience Builder was chosen for its simplicity in creation and editing; therefore, OEM could step in and make edits as needed. The data that goes into the site is fed through automated connections from the Living Atlas, APIs, or submitted by Sugar Land employees through Survey123 and QuickCapture. Additionally, it’s 100% hosted in ArcGIS Online, this allows for data to be shared to those with a login regardless of location and in the event of on-premises server issues. Due to the successes with this set up, Experience Builder is now the main platform for any internal emergency management related sites, including our new Finance Section Site. Finally, GIS holds quarterly workshops for users to get familiar with the software.

Development Team Biography

Trevor Surface has over 6 years of GIS experience spanning the private, non-profit, and public sector. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in GIST, he went to the City of Sugar Land where he is a GIS Specialist and Drone Pilot.
Gabe Lavine started his public safety career in 2004 with Blacksburg Rescue serving in various roles. Since then, he's served as a SWAT Medic, in the Marine Corps, with the US State Department, and ended up in the emergency management world. Most recently, he is working for the City of Sugar Land as the Emergency Management Coordinator. Gabe holds graduate degrees in Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, and Executive Leadership, Public Administration.