OEM Presentation - IA and Emergency Response


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An introduction to Information Architecture and Emergency Response technologies presented at the NYC Office of Emergency Management for the Women's History Month Breakfast. This presentation is a companion to my IA Summit presentation Information Architecture and Emergency Response, which goes into more detail on the kinds of technologies used in Emergency Response.

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OEM Presentation - IA and Emergency Response

  1. 1. The Information Architecture of Emergency Response Noreen Y. Whysel Womens History Month Breakfast NYC Office of Emergency Management March 28, 2012
  2. 2. Hyatt Regency Hotel after Hurricane Katrina Hyatt Regency Serves as a ShelterSource: Bill Haber, AP Source: Gary-Coronado-Palm-Beach-Post
  3. 3. Information Architecture
  4. 4. Information Architecture• Information Architecture: The structural design of shared information environments• Information Architecture Institute: global organization that supports individuals and organizations specializing in the design and construction of shared information environment
  5. 5. Touchstones ofEmergency Response
  6. 6. Common Elements of an Emergency Response System• People• Measurement tools/devices• Data/Information Systems• Communication• Response
  7. 7. People (and organizations) Emergency Management Information SystemsPerson in Need First Responders Emergency Response System
  8. 8. Mental Model for an Emergency Response System Something Someone Emergency Aid is given Forms, BAD calls for help responder Forms, happens arrives Forms(Based loosely on Mental Models by Indy Young, Rosenfeld Media)
  9. 9. Develop Policies Drills and simulations Maps FormsComm Planning Monitor conditions Incident occurs Maps FormsComm Event Dispatch response units Establish command Maps FormsComm Dispatch Determine hazards Create restricted zones Maps FormsComm Locate victim/survivors Assessment Mitigate hazards Assistance Maps FormsComm Rescue/ Recovery Apprehension Investigation Maps FormsComm Emergency Response Incident Model Debriefing Post-Event
  10. 10. CIMS: Citywide Incident Management System• Roles and responsibilities• Chain of command by core competency• Common processes• Common vocabularies• Common organizational structure• Allows for Continuity of Operations• Complies with National Incident Management System• Compatible with other states and federal agency systems
  11. 11. Case Study:Hudson River Parkway Wall Collapse
  12. 12. Hudson River Parkway Wall CollapseHenry Hudson Parkway Wall Collapses, May 12, 2005Source: The Gothamist
  13. 13. Elements of Response to a Wall Collapse Incident• People – victims, OEM, NYPD, FDNY, DOT, DOS, DOB, CAU, CERT, Tri-Borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, Columbia University, Salvation Army, Red Cross, private hauling• Measurement tool/devices – seismographic sensors, thermal and satellite imaging, search dogs• Data/Information Systems – seismographic data, GIS, infrastructure maps, pictometry• Communication – radio communications, 911, ICC-1 mayoral briefings, agency planning meetings• Response – rescue, recovery, Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS), safety zone, evacuation, debris removal, stability tests, community assistance/temporary housing
  14. 14. Emergency Response Technologies
  15. 15. OEM Emergency Response Technologies• Maps and Imaging• Communications• Information Systems• Sensors• Vehicles
  16. 16. Maps and Imaging• NYCMAP: Basemap of NYC including streets, building footprint, some infrastructure• Infrastructure maps: Department of Buildings, Con Ed (power company), Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation• LIDAR imaging• Thermal imaging• Aerial and satellite imagery
  17. 17. Compare to Google Maps
  18. 18. Communications• Telephony, 911, 311, 511 (MTA Info)• NYCWiN: Wireless network• Mobile phones/devices• Radio• Websites, SMS, Twitter, Facebook• Ready NY Guides• Emergency Communications Transformation Program With land lines down and mobile (E911) systems overloaded, the BlackBerry phone was one of the few unimpeded methods of communication that worked in the aftermath of 9/11.
  19. 19. Information Systems• Citywide Asset and Logistics Management System• Unified Victim Identification System• Situational Awareness for Field Response System• Next Generation 911 Source:
  20. 20. Vehicles Interagency Command Center Mobile Data CenterInteragency Communications Vehicle Mobile CIMS Center
  21. 21. Mobile Data Center (2003)
  22. 22. Sensors• Handheld GPS devices• Seismographic activity, thermal readings• Structural integrity• Biometric (portable fingerprint scanner, etc.)• Chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN)• Motion sensors for traffic, road activity• Cameras• Dogs (chemical traces, human survivors)• Eyes and ears
  23. 23. Open Government
  24. 24. Information Policy• Road Map for the Digital City• Outlines City’s plans for – Access – Open Government – Public Engagement – Industry
  25. 25. Open Data Initiatives
  26. 26. Google Crisis Maps• Best Practices – Checklists – Common Alerting Protocol• Tools: – Public Alerts – Person Finder – Custom Maps – Google Earth – Fusion Tables – Docs and Spreadsheets – Google Sites
  27. 27. App Contests and Hackathons
  28. 28. Emergency Management Future Needs
  29. 29. Digital Tools and First RespondersQ. What issues are most pressing in providing digital tools to first responders?• Ease-of-use• Accuracy of Data• Interoperability• Compatibility with legacy systems “Metadata isnt as key as immediacy “Getting away from the ‘technical in emergency situations, and accuracy user’ mentality and providing is important in as much as it helps information through tools/interfaces make decisions, but in emergencies, that first responders are already situations are fluid.” familiar with, i.e. Google Maps, --NY State DOT Employee Google Earth, simple apps, etc.” --Google Earth consultant
  30. 30. Requirements vs Delivery GapsQ. Please comment on any gaps between the requirements of digitalapplications for first responders and what is delivered by digital designers?• Simplicity/Ease of use (again)• Coverage• Redundancy “The digital designers frequently come from a complicated technical mindset that overloads on the options. Users want simplicity and familiarity.” --Google Earth Consultant
  31. 31. Role of Information ArchitectureQ. Please comment on the role of Information Architecture in your practice.• Do not employ IAs.• Employ people who do IA tasks. “Yes, we employ IAs... broadly “We dont have staff with that title, speaking, we have back-end systems but many in engineering and IT that GIS folks who clean up and produce do attempt to influence it, with a lot the RSDA tool, and front-line GIS of chaos as a result.” folks who report the data, and --MTA Design Manager produce maps for first-responders.” --NY State DOT Employee
  32. 32. Enhancing Geospatial Applications• Infrastructure Layer Integration: visualizing water, sewer, electric steam, gas, telecommunications, transit, etc.• Building Information Management: visualizing building infrastructure and security• Crowd Sourced Data: engaging the public to provide data to support emergency operations• Field Data Collection and Communications: On-the-scene data collection by first responders across many agencies• Common Operating Picture/Situational Awareness: Ability to access and share data in real time across wide geographic areas
  33. 33. Mashup Applications• Integrating social media with maps and sensors – USGS Earthquake TED system uses Twitter – Machine readable Twitter hashtags• Organizing response via social media – Times Picayune’s Katrina bulletin board – Red Cross Joplin Tornado project on Facebook Tweak the Tweet: proposed by – OEM Facebook updates Karen Starbird, PhD student at• Handheld applications University of Colorado, 2009 “Random Hacks of Kindness” – Inventory, geolocation conference was put to use in Haiti. – Language translation White Paper, “The Case for Integrating Crisis Response with Social Media, ” Red Cross
  34. 34. Managing Expectations• Data format - Does it work with your system? Is the data in a standard format or will it need to be converted for interoperablity?• Definitions - Make sure the vocabulary used by the data source matches up with your understanding and use. Acronyms and codes can be confusing.• Licensing - Are there restrictions on how the data can be used or whether it can be shared?• Cost – Are you prepared for cost of data security and maintenance? Can you economize?• Users – Do users understand appropriate uses? Do you take into account all uses?
  35. 35. Associations• Information Architecture Institute http://iainstitute.org• Information Architecture Summit http://iasummit.org• Usability Professionals http://upaassoc.org• Interaction Design Association http://www.ixda.org• GISMO http://www.geography.hunter.edu/gismo
  36. 36. Meetup.com• The New York City Information Architecture Meetup• New York Data Visualization and Infographics• ESRI Dev Meetup• NY Location-Based Apps Meetup• NYC OpenStreetMap Enthusiasts• NYC User Experience Meetup• NY Tech Meetup
  37. 37. Thank You!• noreenwhysel@hotmail.com• http://nwhysel.blogspot.com• @nwhysel on Twitter