Publication Date: 2020-04-27

Approval Date: 2019-11-22

Posted Date: 2019-09-09

Reference number of this document: OGC 19-063

Reference URL for this document:

Category: User Guide

Editor: Adam Martin, Kristen Hocutt, Lain Graham, Tosia Shall, Robert Thomas, Terry Idol

Title: OGC Disasters Resilience Pilot User Guide: Connecting Communities During Disasters for Timely Impact Analysis


Copyright © 2020 Open Geospatial Consortium. To obtain additional rights of use, visit


Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent rights. The Open Geospatial Consortium shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Recipients of this document are requested to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent claims or other intellectual property rights of which they may be aware that might be infringed by any implementation of the standard set forth in this document, and to provide supporting documentation.


This document is a user guide created as a deliverable in an OGC Interoperability Initiative as a user guide to the work of that initiative and is not an official position of the OGC membership. There may be additional valid approaches beyond what is described in this user guide.




Adam Martin


Ryan Lanclos


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Emergency managers can use this guide to see how they can use the ArcGIS platform to connect geospatial communities so that they and their stakeholders have the right information before and during a disaster. Specifically, it empowers locally focused emergency managers, planning chiefs and local watch officers with critical weather, address, demographic and health data to help them monitor incidents and estimate the impacts of an upcoming disaster, and then respond to changing conditions to ensure enough recovery resources are requested and deployed in targeted impact areas.

ArcGIS, a core part of the Esri geospatial cloud, provides emergency managers and first responders the critical spatial data infrastructure needed to plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters such as hurricanes and floods, acting with confidence and understanding to save lives and property. With this global geospatial infrastructure in place. locally focused emergency managers, planning chiefs and local watch officers

In three basic steps, managers of emergency operations will learn how to:

  1. quickly federate the needed data services from a variety of sources (Chapter 3)

  2. configure those data services into helpful configurable web and mobile application templates (Chapter 5.1), and

  3. analyze data on the fly for decision making as the situation evolves (Chapter 5.2)

With ArcGIS’s open platform architecture, these managers can leverage the information coming from a variety of sources and formats – including web services using OGC’s open standards - making these data quickly accessible, prioritized and filtered into the critical reporting tools that help decision makers respond effectively.

1.1. Hurricane Preparation One Week Before Disaster

A Texas State EOC Manager who wants to quickly curate & federate web services (Esri REST, OGC) (data like: Weather status, Flood Prediction Zones, Households/Addresses, and other Local Lifelines), to do impact analysis to support resource requests from federal government and to know where to pre-position critical resources like water, food and electrical generators.

1.2. Hurricane-Based Flooding Impact Analysis During the Event

As the flooding continues to increase, a local watch officer is monitoring the real-time flood inundation reports from first responders and the public against the forecasted inundation maps to see where the flooding levels are right now, and whether new incidents and new impacts to vulnerable populations are occuring in his area. After reporting them to his Operations and Planning Section Chiefs, they determine what kinds of new or additional resources might be needed to support their jurisdiction.

2. Simple Architecture

The architecture for this pilot involves two key cataloging applications, ArcGIS Portal and ArcGIS Hub, and three key Clients, ArcGIS Pro (Desktop), ArcGIS Web AppBuilder and ArcGIS Online Web Map Viewer, as shown below in Figure 1.

Figure 1. ArcGIS Simple Architecture

3. General Use Cases by User Activity

This pilot focuses on the role of a State Emergency Operations Center Manager one week prior to projected landfall of a major hurricane. In this scenario, the manager anticipates flooding in certain jurisdictions across the state. The State level Manager will likely become the Incident Commander and coordinate with many other local and state emergency management roles - e.g., planning and operations section chiefs, local incident watch officers - who will need a common operating picture on the evolving disaster and related incidents in local zones.

The authoritative data federated by the Incident Commander serves as the foundation for the common operating picture among his or her stakeholders, including the public.

Below, the Commander can quickly see how to federate this foundational data, most of which may already exist and simply needs to be registered. Other key datasets may need to be published or re-published for operational purposes.

3.1. Registration of data

As a State Emergency Manager, or supporting staff, when you prepare for an upcoming flooding event, you may be sent or find authoritative data about key community lifelines, such as updated health care facility information or new flood forecasts, that will be useful for estimating resources needed or designating a distribution center. These data may come from a variety of stakeholders – local officials, state officials, federal agencies, universities, non-profits like the Red Cross, individual volunteer groups, social media, and private companies.

There are three approaches to registration in ArcGIS. First, a manager can use her organizational ArcGIS Online or Enterprise Portal account to register individual items to a public data group. Second, she can federate existing groups of data curated by other organizations within ArcGIS Online ecosystem. Third, she can use APIs or other tools to sync third party catalog items into ArcGIS online or Enterprise portal groups.

These data or content groups can then be quickly shared into your ArcGIS Hub Site for your stakeholders to explore and discover.

3.1.1. Option One: Adding specific datasets and services (layers, maps, apps)

In the example below, managers will see how to navigate to your Portal homepage and add two separate US Army Corps of Engineers Levee layers to a data group. One layer contains Floodwalls and the other Embankments.

Step 1: Go to your Content tab and begin to Add Item. See Figure below.

Figure 2. Add Data - Step 1

Step 2: Drop down to From the Web. See Figure below.

Figure 3. Add Data - Step 2

Step 3: Insert the URL to the service. Give the layer a title, tags and publish. See Figure below.

Figure 4. Add Data - Step 3

Step 4: On the item detail page, share out the newly added item to the Hub group. These new data will be added to your Flood event Hub site dynamically and stay updated as those publishers modify or add new data to their groups. Repeat steps for each layer, such as the embankments line layer.

Your changes are automatically saved.

To add this item to a Hub Site, simply share the Open Data Group to your selected groups in the Groups Manager of the site. This step is shown below in the Option Two section.

3.1.2. Option Two: Registering Curated ArcGIS Data Groups to your Hub Site

From the Groups Manager tab, a manager can select groups that contain the public data he wans to be accessible through your site. The groups are managed in ArcGIS Online that he or other organizations have made available for Open Data. The items in those groups could be OGC services or any of the many of the supported OGC file types.

You can search groups to add to your site by scrolling through all available open data groups.

Step 1. Within the Hub admin app, navigate to the Groups Manager tab on your site. See Figure below.

Figure 5. Register Groups - Step 1

Step 2. The Groups Manager interface is where he begins to access different data and apps from various groups. See Figure below.