News & Notes

Virtual Workshop on GIS for Search & Rescue – February 8th, 2017

Do you want to use maps to find missing persons? Do you have some skills or an interest in creating geospatial decision support tools for Search & Rescue teams?

Paul Doherty, Chair of the Search & Rescue Working Group for the NAPSG Foundation, led a virtual workshop for the Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP).  While MAGIP participants attended on-site (Bozeman, Montana), MAGIP kindly extended the invitation to the Public Safety GIS and SAR Community to attend via WebEx.

This presentation had brief hands-on exercises and learning resources that you can take away with you from the workshop.  The goal of this presentation was to foster exchange between the Geospatial Professional and Search and Rescue Communities by providing an overview of capabilities with geospatial decision support tools.

VIDEO RECORDING – Virtual Workshop on GIS for Search & Rescue

For information about GIS for Search and Rescue, see the Wilderness Search and Rescue Capability and Readiness Assessment Tool (CARAT).

New Additions to the NAPSG Team!

NAPSG Foundation is pleased to announce that Tari Martin and Camille Galdes have joined our team.  Tari joins NAPSG from the City of Laurel, MD, where she worked as a GIS Analyst in the Department of Information Technology.  Tari has a deep background in public safety GIS.

Camille comes to NAPSG from the NGO world – having worked at the Urban Land Institute, Pew Trusts, and the Brookings Institution.  She brings a great combination of GIS skills and organizational development to the team.

For more information about both Tari and Camille, please check out our About Us page.

New Emergency Alert Symbols Coming Soon

August 15, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Geospatial Management Office (GMO) and the NAPSG Foundation are currently developing symbology to coincide with the event codes used by the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Read more about our efforts in the blog by Rick Wimberly in Emergency Management Magazine and explore our current symbology library.

Are Symbols Specifically for Alerts in Our Future?
Symbols are being developed to become standard indicators of particular types of alerts.
By Rick Wimberly | August 10, 2016

Registration Now Closed for 2016 National Geospatial Preparedness Summit

March 16, 2016

NAPSG Foundation is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 2016 National Geospatial Preparedness Summit (NGPS), the Nation’s only preparedness Summit dedicated to advancing the use of location-enabled decision technology and data. The Summit will be held September 13th and 14th in Washington, DC with leadership from the US Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the Association for Public Safety Communication Officers International, and the National States Geographic Information Council.

NGPG will bring together 150 public safety leaders and GIS responders from across the Nation – to gain new skills in applying location-enabled decision support tools, share best practices, and participate in work session for advancing use in local and state agencies. The Summit will feature multiple tracks of hands-on training, simulations, a tabletop exercise, and a national work session.

Learn more about the 2016 National Geospatial Preparedness Summit Today!

Press Release – Department of Homeland Security Makes Infrastructure Data More Readily Available

March 3, 2016
10:00am EST

Washington D.C. – NAPSG is pleased to inform our members that the US Department of Homeland Security’s Geospatial Management Office (GMO) announced that it is making important infrastructure data more accessible and in highly usable open data formats to the public safety community.

The announcement was made on February 24, 2016, at the Esri Federal GIS Conference. At the Conference, Mr. David Alexander, Director of the GMO, made public the launch of HIFLD Open – which takes what was formerly known as HSIP Freedom (distributed via DVD) and creates a single point of entry to both view and download these 274 data sets, using Esri’s ArcGIS Online.

HIFLD Open is accessible to the public here:

In addition to making these data sets publicly available in a user-friendly format, the GMO is creating an opportunity for local and state public safety agencies to provide feedback on data quality – further ensuring regularly updated and evaluated data.

According to NAPSG’s Regional Leadership Team member Eric Fisher of Fairfax County Fire & Rescue: “Using these important data sets, any time, augments my local authoritative data with regional and other data that may not currently be available.  And even better, I can access and download that data in real time, so that it truly is a useful part of our agency’s planning and preparedness efforts.”

NAPSG Board Member Dan Bout of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) said that from a State perspective “open access to authoritative infrastructure data sets is an enormous step forward that will enable public safety officials at the federal, state, and local levels to more effectively plan for and respond to natural and manmade disasters.”

For media inquiries, contact Peter O’Rourke at or by phone at 202-895-1711

To download a copy of this press release, click on the below.




Agenda Available for Search & Rescue GIS Workshop

NAPSG is honored to be hosting the 7th Annual Search and Rescue GIS Workshop this November 12-15 in Sonora, CA at Columbia College. This workshop includes a combination of hands-on training, USNG training, keynote presentations, and discussion/feedback forums. The objective of this workshop is to build the capacity of GIS professionals and Search & Rescue practitioners to apply location-enabled decision support tools in support of SAR planning and operations in all environments.

Learn more about the 7th Search and Rescue GIS Workshop:

NAPSG News – Ryan Lanclos & Paul Doherty join the NAPSG Team

October 16, 2015

Press Release:  NAPSG Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the additions of Ryan Lanclos and Paul Doherty to the NAPSG staff.

Ryan was most recently the GIS Manager of Montgomery County, Texas.  Previously, Ryan served as a Public Safety Industry Manager at Esri, and before that he was the State GIO for Missouri.  Ryan will serve as Senior Program Manager at NAPSG, leading our initiatives across multiple homeland security practice areas.

Paul was recently the Disaster Response Program Technology Lead at Esri.  Previously, Paul served as a GIS Specialist and Park Ranger with the National Park Service.  Paul will serve as a Senior Project Manager at NAPSG, with responsibilities to manage multiple homeland security projects.  Additionally, Paul is standing-up and leading the newly created NAPSG Search & Rescue (SAR) practice area – bringing together the domestic and international SAR communities.



PRESS RELEASE – First Responders Convene for National Summit and Awards on GIS Technology

Washington D.C. – On August 4th and 5th the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation brought together more than 150 of the Nation’s public safety leaders and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals for the inaugural National Geospatial Preparedness Summit. The Summit was co-hosted by NAPSG and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), Fairfax County Fire Rescue, and other agencies. The Summit aimed to forge collaboration between first responders and GIS professionals so that technology can be more effectively applied in preparedness nationwide.

NAPSG’s Board Chairman, Rand Napoli, explained, “The Summit represents a series of hands-on workshops that have been strategically designed to address some of the most pressing operational and technical challenges the public safety and GIS community faces. It also culminates with a short tabletop exercise where first responders and GIS professionals will put to use the knowledge and skills gained in the first day in a simulated emergency scenario.”

On the evening of August 4th there was a separate ceremony for NAPSG’s fifth Annual Awards for Excellence in Public Safety GIS. NAPSG’s Board of Directors has unanimously selected the recipients of the 2015 Awards. Chief Napoli will present the National award to Mr. Russ Johnson, Director of Esri’s Public Safety Industry and the Local award to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). In announcing the selection, Chief Napoli highlighted Mr. Johnson’s lifetime accomplishments in mobilizing public safety decision makers to use GIS on a daily basis in their planning and operations. NAPSG’s Board voted to recognize the actions that Mr. Johnson took at Esri to formalize the Disaster Response and Assistance Program. Chief Napoli also highlighted the recent success of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center in using GIS to improve planning for the 2015 Boston Marathon, increase prevention efforts, and situational awareness during this year’s marathon. He conveyed that the BRIC serves as a model for local and regional law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The reception for the Annual Awards for Excellence in Public Safety GIS was made possible by the generous support of several corporate sponsors, including: HERE, Esri, Ardent Management Consulting, Dewberry, American Modern Insurance, and CSX. The reception was hosted by NAPSG at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC. The 2016 National Geospatial Preparedness Summit will be held September 2016 in Olympia, WA.

To download a copy of this press release, click on the below.

NAPSG NGPS 2015 Press Release

2016 Sponsorship Opportunities Now Available!

July 22, 2015 –

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 NAPSG Foundation Annual Sponsor Program is now available. For 2016, we have introduced new benefits to our Sponsor Program that increase the return on investment for participating companies.

We understand the important role that the private sector plays in meeting the needs of our public safety and GIS community. Our sponsorship program provides an opportunity for companies to support NAPSG and our sponsors’ shared goal of serving the community. NAPSG Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) charitable nonprofit. All contributions are tax deductible for US taxpayers to the greatest extent allowable by the Internal Revenue Service.

Click on the image below to check out the 2016 Annual Sponsor Guide!



Results Released! National Incident Symbology Survey

July 19, 2015 –

We are pleased to release the Report on Survey Results: Incident Symbology. This report provides a summary of the results from the national Survey on Incident Symbology and Mapping Capabilities conducted by the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG). The purpose of the survey was to determine a baseline understanding of the level and usage of location-enabled decision support tools and standardized incident symbology. This study serves as a primary input in determining priority gaps and areas for improvement that are critical to establishing a common symbol dictionary for communicating preparedness and incident information across the entire public safety and homeland security community.

The analysis in this report extracts and shares the actionable results from the national survey. The analysis concluded that existing incident symbols are not entirely adequate or effective in supporting decision making by public safety, and there remains numerous areas for improvement in filling unmet gaps and enhancing the elements and features of existing symbols. The results illustrate that much work is still needed to harmonize and standardize incident symbology due to the diversity of standards and guidelines being used — as well as the known inconsistencies between them. Inconsistencies such as these have the potential to lead to significant operational coordination issues when multiple agencies share maps and use them in the planning and response to emergencies.

Check out the Report and gain valuable information on incident-level mapping capabilities and symbology:

To gain access to NAPSG’s existing Incident Symbology Guideline and Symbol sets Click Here – and stay tuned for updated incident symbol resources that will be released in September 2015!