By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District created the ESRI Operation Dashboard, a geographic information system (GIS) tool, that allows Corps employees, partners and community to monitor water levels throughout the district’s area of operation along the Texas coast.
The tool customizes and consolidates data layers from the U.S. Geological Survey, National Weather Service and Corps with a base map, and allows interested parties to share information related to federal projects that may be affected by rainfall and increases in river or stream elevation.
“Due to the high number of data sets we must monitor during a weather event or disaster, it can often be difficult to go back and forth between websites and agencies to get all the data required to make informed decisions,” said Mike DeMasi, emergency management chief for the USACE Galveston District. “Pulling all the information for a particular type event, such as the recent flooding in Texas, allows us to see where the rain is falling, what streams and rivers are rising and/or falling and where the federal projects are in relation.”
According to DeMasi, while the tool does not provide analytical instruments, it does consolidate all the information into a single viewer and is usable on any smartphone, providing the capability for staff to get into the field with data readily available in hand.
“We discussed the various data that we were monitoring with our GIS team and asked if they could pull all of the various data providers’ data into a single map, usable by anyone,” said DeMasi. “The GIS team linked our base map, which included all of our areas of responsibility and projects, with data that is maintained by many other agencies.”
A feature currently being tested is the ability to upload images to the site in real time, which will allow users to see graphics of river elevations at specifics points on the map.
To view the ESRI Operation Dashboard, click on the following link: http://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboard/index.html#/ad46e3dcae3048ed89706314ed68fce3.
The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.