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Map a search operation

In the previous lesson, you created a web app to help SAR operations in Yosemite National Park. In this lesson, you'll take on the role of a SAR team member during a missing person search operation. You'll use the configured web app to create a live, dynamic map that provides situational awareness to the rest of the team.

You'll use the app to plot the Initial Planning Point (IPP), determine the search area, create assignment maps, track statuses, and map incident data.

Note:

This missing person case is entirely fictional. Names, dates, addresses, and other details have been created to demonstrate search management practices. To learn more about common SAR practices, read the article Wilderness Search Strategy and Tactics.

Open the app

The MapSAR Situational Awareness Viewer app you created in the previous lesson is shared with members of your organization. It's been configured for the following functionality:

  • Plotting IPPs and assets
  • Creating statistical search areas
  • Editing incident data (assignments, assets, team status, and so on)
  • Adding GPS data
  • Printing a basic map

You'll make use of these features and more over the course of a fictional missing person case. First, you'll open the app.

  1. If necessary, sign in to your ArcGIS organization account or your ArcGIS Enterprise using a named user account.

    If you were the one who created the app in the previous lessons, the app will be located in your Content page. In this lesson, however, you're taking on the role of a SAR team member, not the GIS specialist who would have configured the app, so you'll search your organization to find it.

  2. On the ribbon, click the search button.

    Search button

  3. In the search box, type MapSAR Situational Awareness Viewer and press Enter.

    By default, your search is filtered to results in your organization.

  4. Point to the thumbnail of the MapSAR Situational Awareness Viewer app you created and click View Application.
    Note:

    If your search returns multiple results, make sure you open the app that you created. Each search result lists the item's owner.

    View Application button

    The app opens in a new browser tab.

    Default MapSAR Situational Awareness Viewer app

    Before you use the app, you'll become familiar with the basics of navigating a web app. SAR team members may not be GIS experts, so it's important to go over the basics, as well as some navigational shortcuts.

  5. Click the Zoom in or Zoom out buttons.

    Zoom in and Zoom out buttons

    Depending on which button you click, the map zooms in or out a fixed distance. You can also zoom in and out with the mouse scroll wheel.

  6. Press Shift while drawing a box on the map.

    Shift key shortcut for navigation

    When you release the mouse button, the map zooms to the extent of the box you drew.

  7. Drag the map to pan it.
  8. When finished, click the Default extent button.

    Default extent button

    The map returns to its original extent.

    Note:

    The app also contains a bookmark that immediately navigates to the extent of Yosemite National Park when clicked. To access the bookmark, click the Bookmark button on the ribbon.

    Bookmark button

    You'll also become familiar with the Layer List pane, which shows all the layers in the app. This pane also contains options for turning layers on and off.

  9. On the ribbon, click the Layer List button.

    Layer List button

    The Layer List pane appears.

    Layer List pane

    The check box next to each layer indicates whether the layer is visible on the map. Most of the layers are turned off. Many of these layers currently have no data, but they can be edited to include some.

  10. Check the boxes for SAR Team, Trailheads, and High Sierra Camps. Uncheck Search Planning Areas and Roads.

    The Trailheads and Roads layers currently have data, while the SAR Team and Search Planning Areas layers do not.

  11. Turn the Roads layer back on.

    Each layer also has an options button with layer-specific options.

  12. For the SAR Team layer, click the options button.

    Options button for SAR Team layer

    The options menu contains the following options:

    • Zoom to—Navigates the map to the extent of the layer.

    • Transparency—Makes layers transparent. This option is useful for when features overlap or obscure parts of the map.

    • Set visibility range—Determines the zoom extent at which layers are visible. By default, most layers are visible at all zoom extents.

    • Disable pop-up—Turns off the layer's pop-up. A pop-up appears when you click a map feature. It displays additional information about the feature based on the feature's attribute information. If a layer's pop-up is disabled, this option becomes Enable pop-up.

    • Move up and Move down—Moves the layer up or down in the layer list. Changing the order of layers in the layer list also changes the order in which they appear on the map. Generally, it's a good idea to display points and lines above polygons so that the polygons don't cover the other layers.

    • View in attribute table—Opens the layer's attribute table. The attribute table shows all of the information associated with the layer. This information differs from layer to layer, but it usually includes data about the names or identifiers of each feature.

    • Show item details—Opens the item details for the layer if available. This option is useful if you want more information about a layer's source.

  13. Click the name of the SAR Team layer.

    SAR Team symbol

    The layer's map symbol appears. Some layers have multiple symbols. When they're expanded in the layer list, all symbol types are shown.

    You can also search for layers and control the behavior of all layers in the list. These options are located at the top of the layer list.

  14. Click the layer list options button and choose Collapse all layers.

    Collapse all layers option

    The SAR Team layer is collapsed. This menu also contains options to turn all layers on or off.

Plot the Initial Planning Point

Now that you're familiar with the app's basic functionality, you'll start working on the missing person search operation. This scenario is completely fictional and based on Wilderness Search Strategy and Tactics (2014) by Phillips et al.

In early October, accomplished runner Ryan Powell failed to call home after a daylong trail run in Yosemite National Park. When it became night and a storm started to develop over the Sierra Nevada mountains, his wife, Linda, contacted the National Park Service. Yosemite Search and Rescue immediately initiated an organized search effort.

Yosemite Ranger Dave Hope, the initial incident commander (IC) for the search, interviewed the reporting party, Linda Powell, by phone. The IC obtained detailed information about the missing subject, who had planned to run the Lyell Canyon-Vogelsang-Rafferty Creek Loop. This trail is a 20-mile (32 km) loop encompassing the Tuolumne Pass area at an elevation of 10,000 feet (3,048 m) in the eastern portion of the park. The IC learned that the subject had never previously run this route and developed his trip plan based on information from a trail running blog. The IC also learned that the subject intended to leave his cell phone in his vehicle parked at the trailhead. Initial investigation efforts located the subject's vehicle at the trailhead parking lot, indicating that the subject is most likely still in the area.

Search operations begin from the Initial Planning Point (IPP). This point is usually the place where the subject was last seen or last known to be. Search planning is based on the IPP and searches tend to occur in nearby areas. The IPP for this scenario is the Lyell Canyon-Vogelsang-Rafferty Creek Loop trailhead near Tuolumne High Sierra Camp, the subject's last known location.

To plot the IPP, you'll use the Smart Editor widget, a tool for editing features in the map layers. You can use it to add new points, lines, or areas to the map. You can only edit features that are turned on in the layer list.

  1. In the layer list, confirm that the Initial Planning Point (and subject information) layer is turned on.

    Next, you'll navigate to Tuolumne High Sierra Camp.

  2. On the map, click Find address or place and type Tuolumne (don't press Enter).

    Search results for Tuolumne

    When the app was created, the search was configured to include results from certain map layers, including the High Sierra Camps layer. The search results include Tuolumne High Sierra Camp.

  3. Under High Sierra Camps, choose the Tuolumne search result (or press Enter to automatically choose the first result).

    The map navigates to Tuolumne High Sierra Camp. A search result pop-up provides the camp's name.

    Tuolumne High Sierra Camp

    The camp is close to the Rafferty Creek or Lyell Canyon trailhead (the trail itself is the dotted line on the map). Based on the initial investigation, this is where the subject's vehicle was found. You'll plot the IPP here.

  4. Close the search result pop-up. In the search box, click Clear search.
  5. Under the search box, click the Smart Editor widget.

    Smart Editor widget

    The Smart Editor pane appears.

    Tip:

    Drag the top of the Smart Editor pane to position it anywhere in the app.

    First, you'll choose a template for editing. The available templates are based on the layers that are turned on in the app.

  6. In the Smart Editor pane, click All and choose Initial Planning Point (and subject information).

    Initial Planning Point template in Smart Editor pane

    The list of templates is filtered to show only the Initial Planning Point template.

  7. Click the Initial Planning Point template.

    Initial Planning Point template

  8. Click the map at the beginning of the trail (zoom in as necessary).

    Rafferty Creek or Lyell Canyon trailhead with plotted IPP

    Tip:

    Press Ctrl when adding new features to snap them to existing features. This option is useful when adding a feature that must intersect exactly with another.

    Once the point is added, the Smart Editor pane displays an empty form that can be filled with attribute information. For the Initial Planning Point template, this information is mostly about the subject. Your team was provided a missing person form for this incident. You'll fill out the IPP's attributes using information from the form.

  9. Save the missing person form to your computer.
  10. In the Smart Editor window, enter the following information:
    • For Subject Number, type 1.
    • For Subject Name, type Ryan Powell.
    • For Category, choose Runner.
    • For Group Size, choose Solo.
    • For Gender, choose Male.
    • For Height (inches), type 71.
    • For Weight (lbs), type 180.
    • For Build, choose Large.
    • For Complexion, type Pale.
    • For Hair, type Brown.
    • For Eyes, type Brown.
    • For Other information, type No facial hair.
    • For Shirt, type White T-Shirt.
    • For Pants, type Blue running shorts.
    • For Jacket, type Unknown.
    • For Hat, type Unknown.
    • For Footwear, type Running shoes.
    • For Additional Information, type Small daypack (blue) with water bottle(s).
    • For Mobile Phone, type None.
    • For Photo Available, choose Yes.
    • For Age, type 24.
    • For Ethnicity, choose White.
    • For Date Last Seen, choose 10/8/2018 (October 8, 2018).
    • For Description of where last known, type Rafferty Creek/Lyell Canyon trailhead near Tuolumne High Sierra Camp.
    • For Initial Planning Point (IPP) Type, choose LKP (Last Known Point).

    You don't currently have information for the remaining parameters, so you'll leave them blank. The form has the option to attach a file. You'll attach the missing person form.

  11. For Attachments, click Choose File (or your browser's equivalent button). Browse to and attach the missing person form you downloaded.
  12. Click Save.

    The attribute information is saved to the IPP you added. Any features you add, edit, or delete can be seen instantly by others viewing the map, so your SAR team will be updated as soon as possible.

  13. Close the Smart Editor pane. On the map, click the IPP.

    The IPP's pop-up appears. It contains the information you added to the form.

    Pop-up for IPP

    Tip:

    If you want to edit the IPP's attribute information, reopen the Smart Editor widget and click the IPP on the map.

  14. Close the pop-up.

Add trail blocks for containment

The next task is to create a containment area to limit the subject's potential movement from the IPP. The farther the subject moves, the larger the search area becomes. Containment teams for this scenario have been assigned to create trail blocks at the Rafferty Creek Trail junction (near Tuolumne Meadows) and Vogelsang High Sierra Camp.

You'll add these trail blocks to the map using the Smart Editor widget.

  1. Open the Smart Editor widget.
  2. In the Smart Editor pane, click the drop-down menu and choose Assets. Click the Trail Block template.

    Trail Block template in Assets category

  3. On the map, zoom out or pan south until you reach the three-way trail junction south of Lyell Fork in Tuolumne Meadows. Add a trail block to the junction.

    Trail block at Rafferty Creek Trail junction

    You can also add attribute information to trail blocks. You'll change the trail block's description and status.

  4. In the Smart Editor pane, for Description, type Rafferty Creek Trail junction. For Status, choose Assigned.

    Attributes for the Rafferty Creek Trail junction trail block

  5. Click Save.

    Next, you'll add a trail block at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp.

  6. In the search box, search for Vogelsang and navigate to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp. Close the search result pop-up.
  7. In the Smart Editor pane, click the Trail Block template. Add a trail block at the four-way junction near the camp.

    Trail block at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp

  8. For Description, type Vogelsang High Sierra Camp. For Status, choose Assigned.
  9. Click Save. Close the Smart Editor pane.

Create search assignments

During hasty initial search efforts, a search team in Lyell Canyon contacted two hikers who reportedly spoke with the subject on the Ireland Creek Trail at 1:00 p.m. the day he went missing. At that time, the subject appeared to be running comfortably up the trail on the established route.

This eyewitness sighting is the most recent known time the subject was seen, making it the Point Last Seen (PLS). Moving forward, the PLS will be the IPP for future incident planning efforts, replacing the location of the subject's vehicle in the Tuolumne High Sierra Camp parking lot.

The approximate location of the sighting, in United States National Grid (USNG) notation, happened at 11S KB 98727 87869. You'll plot this point and use it to create statistical search areas (areas that a missing person is statistically likely to travel from their PLS). The app was configured with the Situation Awareness widget, which can create these concentric circles (called buffers) around a point. Once the statistical search area is created, you'll divide it into manageable search assignments for search teams.

Note:

For more information about statistical search areas, refer to the section introduction of the Add the Situation Awareness widget section in the previous lesson.

  1. In the search box, clear the existing search text. Copy and paste the USNG coordinate 11SKB9872787869 (no spaces) and press Enter.

    The map navigates to a point on the Ireland Creek Trail. You'll access the Situation Awareness widget from the Search result pop-up.

  2. On the Search result pop-up, click the options button and choose Set Location.

    Set Location option

    The Situation Awareness widget opens at the bottom of the app. The Incident tab is active.

    Based on Lost Person Behavior by Robert J. Koester, 25 percent of lost runners are found within 0.9 miles (1.4 kilometers) from the IPP, 50 percent are found within 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers), 75 percent are found within 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers), and 95 percent are found within 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometers). Time and resources are limited, so you'll create a search area that represents 75 percent of lost runners.

  3. In the Situation Awareness widget, for Buffer Distance, type 3.4 kilometers. Click the Save button.

    Buffer Distance parameter and Save button

    The coordinate is saved as a new IPP and a buffer is created around it. A pop-up appears with attribute information about the buffer. You'll edit the information using the Smart Editor widget.

  4. In the Search Area Statistical pop-up, click the options button and choose Smart Editor.
  5. In the Smart Editor pane, for Percentile, choose 75. For Distance KM, type 3.4, and for Distance Miles, type 2.1.
  6. Click Save. Close the Situation Awareness widget and the Smart Editor pane and clear the search bar.

    The symbols representing the search area and the IPP change to reflect the existing template for those feature types. Now that you've established the search area, you'll divide it into manageable segments for searchers. You'll then prioritize the segments and assign them to ground teams, dog teams, and helicopters.

    In this scenario, the weather has become stormy in the park. In these conditions, the subject may have become disoriented while ascending the Ireland Creek Trail or traveling on the Rafferty Creek Trail. The subject may have left the trail to follow a drainage flow downhill, believing he was still on the trail.

    Based on this predicted behavior and the area's topography, you'll create and prioritize your search area segments. As a general rule, ground searchers can be assigned an area of 0.25 square miles (0.65 square kilometers) in an operational period. The boundaries between segments should be recognizable by searchers in the field.

    To better view the area's topography, you'll change the basemap to USA Topo Maps. This is the same basemap that is used in the USGS maps that are used by many SAR teams in the United States.

  7. On the ribbon, click the Basemap Gallery button.

    Basemap Gallery button

  8. Click the USA Topo Maps basemap.

    USA Topo Maps basemap option

    The basemap changes. It shows more detailed contour lines to indicate changes in elevation. There are many steep shifts in terrain to the east and south of the IPP. The terrain is much flatter to the west of the IPP.

    Search area with USA Topo Maps basemap

    Note:

    The maps used by the USA Topo Maps basemap were authored prior to 1996. Some features may be out of date.

  9. After inspecting the topography of the search area, change the basemap to Imagery.

    Search area with Imagery basemap

    This basemap is useful for displaying vegetation and other natural features of the landscape. According to this basemap, there is dense vegetation near the creek east of the IPP. Due to the steep terrain and dense vegetation, it's unlikely that the subject would have strayed far from the trail or the creek in this area.

  10. Change the basemap to Topographic (the app's original basemap).

    Now that you understand the area better, you'll create search segments.

  11. Open the Smart Editor widget. Click the drop-down menu and choose Assignment Status. Click the Not Assigned template.

    Not Assigned template

    Adding polygon features is similar to adding point features. Each time you click the map, you create a vertex for the polygon. Double-clicking will complete the polygon.

  12. Keeping in mind the topography, natural barriers such as trails or water bodies, and the recommended size of ground search areas, draw a search area on the map.

    First search area being edited on map

    In the example image, the search area uses the trail, a nearby creek, two small lakes, and elevation contours as its boundaries. Your search area doesn't need to match the example image exactly.

    Once the drawing is finished, the Smart Editor pane displays a form for the search area's attribute information. You can give the search area an assignment number and determine its priority. Once the search area is assigned, you can also use this form to change its assignment status. The example search area covers a large, flat area not far from the IPP, so you'll assign it a high priority.

    Note:

    For more information about how to prioritize search areas, read the article Wilderness Search Strategy and Tactics by Phillips et al.

  13. In the Smart Editor pane, for Assignment Number, type 1. For Priority, choose High.

    Attribute information for the first search area

    The form contains many more fields, many of which are only relevant when the search area has been assigned and searched. You'll leave those fields empty for now.

  14. Click Save.

    The number of search areas you create will depend on the available time and resources. A real search operation may have 20 or 30 search areas. For the purposes of this exercise, you'll only create a few more.

  15. Using basemaps, water bodies, trails, and other features, create seven or eight more search areas and give them appropriate attribute information (you can create more if you want). Create most of your search areas in the relatively flat areas near trails west of the IPP.

    Additional search areas

  16. When finished, close the Smart Editor pane.

Print a map

Next, you'll create a print map of a search assignment to send to a team in the field. While fieldworkers can access your app on mobile devices, print maps are sometimes preferred by SAR teams.

  1. Click the Print widget.

    Print widget

    The Print pane appears.

  2. Navigate to the first segment you created. For Map title, type INC001 - Segment 1 - Team A.

    Map title for print map

    You'll change the name of the map's author to reflect the team being assigned.

  3. Click Advanced. For Author, type Team A.

    Author for print map

  4. Click Print.

    After a few moments, a PDF map is generated and listed in the Print pane. (You can also generate print maps in other file formats by changing the Format parameter).

    PDF listed in Print pane

  5. Click the PDF to open it in a new browser tab.

    The print map's extent may differ from the extent of your map, depending on the print map's layout. You can change the Layout parameter before generating the print map to choose a layout better suited for what you intend to show. In the Advanced options, you can also choose whether the print map will maintain the extent of your map or the scale; scale is chosen by default.

  6. If you're satisfied with the print map, save it to your computer or print it using your browser's saving and printing options.
  7. Close the browser tab showing the print map. Close the Print pane.

    Now that you've created a print map to send to fieldworkers, you'll update the status of this segment from Unassigned to In Progress.

  8. On the map, click the first segment you created. In the pop-up, click the options button and choose Smart Editor.

    The Smart Editor pane appears.

  9. For Assignment Status, choose In Progress.

    Assignment Status changed to In Progress

  10. Click Save and close the Smart Editor pane.

    The segment changes from red to yellow. Yellow is the symbol for search segments that are in progress.

Add GPS tracks

Although you've only assigned one search segment, for the purposes of this exercise you'll assume that you've assigned a number of search segments to various teams. At the end of the day, teams assigned to various segments have returned to the staging area.

When teams search, they bring GPS devices with them. They use GPS for navigation and to record tracks of where they've searched. GPS units and many smartphone apps can export these tracks as .gpx files, which can be displayed on maps. You'll download the tracks, add them to the map, and update the status of search assignments.

  1. Open the INC001_Assignments_GPS_Tracks details page in a new browser tab. Click Download.

    The file is saved to your computer as a zipped folder.

  2. Locate the file on your computer and unzip it to a location you can easily remember, such as your Documents folder.

    The unzipped folder contains a single file: INC001_Assignments.gpx.

  3. In the MapSAR Situational Awareness Viewer app, on the ribbon, click the Add Data button.

    Add Data button

    The Add Data pane appears.

  4. Click the File tab and click Browse.

    Browse button on File tab of Add Data pane

  5. Browse to and open the INC001_Assignments.gpx file.
    Tip:

    You can also add a file by dragging it to the Add Data pane.

    The GPS tracks are added as a new line layer with red symbols on the map. The layer is also added to the Layer List pane.

  6. Open the Layer List pane and turn off the Assignment Status layer.

    GPS tracks added to map

    The tracks began at campsites in Tuolumne Meadows and moved along established trails to the search area. The densest cluster of tracks occurs in the eastern portion of the statistical search area, where you previously believed the missing person might be because of the flat terrain and low vegetation.

    This layer is only temporary. It'll be removed from the map once the app is refreshed or reopened. You'll use the Situation Awareness widget to copy these tracks to the Routes layer so they permanently appear on the map. There are six tracks total. (Normally, these tracks would be provided as six individual files, but for the purpose of this exercise they have been combined into one.) You'll need to add each track individually.

  7. In the Layer List pane, click the options button for INC001_Assignments - tracks and choose View in Attribute Table.

    The table appears, showing the six features in the layer. The tracks don't have much attribute information; depending on how they're captured, they may have more.

  8. In the table, click the button to the left of the first track to select it.

    First track selected in attribute table

    The track is highlighted on the map.

  9. Navigate to the track and click the Hide Attribute Table button. Click the track to open its pop-up.
    Tip:

    To quickly zoom to a selected feature, in the attribute table, click Zoom to.

  10. In the pop-up, click the options button and choose Set Location.

    The Situation Awareness pane appears at the bottom of the app. If you have not closed the app since creating the search area, a buffer with a distance of 3.4 kilometers is automatically created around the route. You don't need this buffer.

  11. If necessary, for Buffer Distance, type 0.
  12. Click Save.

    The track is saved as a route. You'll change the route's status from Assigned to Complete.

  13. In the pop-up, click the Previous feature or Next feature buttons as necessary to switch the pop-up from the INC001 Assignments layer to the Routes layer.

    Next feature and Previous feature buttons

  14. Change Route Status to Complete. Scroll to the bottom of the pop-up and click Done.

    Route Status attribute in pop-up

  15. Add the remaining five GPS tracks to the Routes layer and change their status to Complete.
  16. In the Layer List pane, turn off the INC001_Assignments - tracks layer. In the attribute table, click Clear selection and hide the attribute table.

    The routes are now displayed in green, signifying completion. Next, you'll compare the routes to the search segments and change the status of the segments accordingly.

  17. Turn on the Assignment Status layer.

    Routes and search segments

    On your map, as in the example images, it's likely that the search segments and GPS tracks don't correspond exactly. In a real scenario, you would not change a search segment's status until it has been searched completely, but for the purposes of this exercise, you'll change the status of any segments that have been mostly covered by the search.

  18. Click a search segment that should have its status changed. In its pop-up, click the options button and choose Smart Editor.
  19. Change Assignment Status to Complete and click Save. Close the Smart Editor pane.
  20. Change the status of any other segments significantly covered by GPS tracks.

    Segments on map with status changed to Complete

Map incident data

After the first day of searching, the subject has still not been found. Additional SAR teams and search managers have been requested from the surrounding area. It'll be important to clearly identify incident assets and logistics information on the map. You'll also need to map new clues as they're uncovered. When the missing subject is finally found, you'll also document it for reporting purposes and to improve future search operations.

First, you'll add the Incident Command Post (ICP). Various SAR teams will need to know how to navigate to the ICP. The ICP for this incident is in Yosemite Valley. You'll add it to the map based on its coordinates.

  1. In the search box, copy and paste 11SKB7188981200 and press Enter.

    The map navigates to the location of the ICP and the Search result pop-up appears.

    ICP location in Yosemite Valley

  2. Open the Smart Editor widget.
  3. In the Smart Editor pane, click the drop-down menu and choose Assets. Click the ICP template.

    ICP template in Smart Editor pane

  4. Add the ICP to the location of the search result. In the Smart Editor pane, click Save.

    You'll add a few other assets by following the same workflow. One will be the staging area for SAR teams and the other will be the helibase (the location where helicopters land and take off).

  5. Using the search box and the Smart Editor pane, add the following asset:
    • Location: 11SKB9387194764
    • Template: Staging (Assets category)
  6. Add the following asset:
    • Location: 11SKB9386394725
    • Template: Helibase (Assets category)
  7. Close the Smart Editor pane and clear the search box text.

    Staging and helibase assets on map

    The next day, the storm becomes less severe, permitting the use of aircraft. New SAR teams and resources come in through the helibase and search efforts are escalated. One team is assigned to search likely paths of travel north of the Ireland Creek Trail, where the subject was last seen. They observe some recent tracks that were protected from the weather by trees and left by running shoes. This clue provides a direction of travel: the subject was heading north, into the east fork of Rafferty Creek.

    The clue was reported using a clue form. You'll plot this clue on the map.

  8. Search for and navigate to the coordinates 11SKB9554987862. Close the Search result pop-up and open the Smart Editor widget.
  9. In the Smart Editor pane, click the drop-down menu and choose Clue Points. Click the Relevant template and add a point at the location of the search result.

    You'll update the clue's attribute information from data included in the form. You'll also attach the clue form for reference.

  10. In the Smart Editor pane, enter the following attribute information:
    • For Clue Number, type 001.
    • For Description, type Running shoes tracks.
    • Confirm that Relevancy is set to Relevant.
    • For Collector/Team Name, type Team 5.
    • For USNG, type 11SKB9554987862.
    • For Incident ID, type INC001.
  11. Download the clue form. For Attachments, click Choose File and attach the clue form.
  12. Click Save. Close the Smart Editor pane and clear the search text. On the map, click the clue point to view its pop-up.

    Clue Point pop-up on map

  13. Close the pop-up.

    Shortly after this clue is discovered, the subject Ryan Powell is located along the east fork of Rafferty Creek. After becoming disoriented in the low visibility of the storm, Ryan left the Ireland Creek Trail and began following the east fork drainage, believing he was in the west fork. After being unable to locate the trail, he found a rock overhang and used an emergency blanket to bivouac overnight.

    This SAR incident has been successfully resolved. You'll plot the location where the subject was found.

  14. In the Layer List pane, confirm that Found or Suspension is turned on. Search for and navigate to 11SKB9568588786.
  15. Close the Search result pop-up and open the Smart Editor widget.
  16. Click the drop-down menu and choose Found or Suspension. Click the Found Suspension template.

    Found Suspension template

  17. Add a feature at the location of the search result.

    As with other features you've added, you can add attribute information.

  18. In the Smart Editor pane, enter the following attributes:
    • For Subject Number, type 001.
    • For Found/Suspension, choose Found.
    • For Scenario, choose Lost.
    • For USNG, type 11SKB9568588786.

    There are many other parameters you can change, but for now, these will suffice.

  19. Click Save. Close the Smart Editor pane and clear the search text.

Create a snapshot

It's important to archive incident information in order to report the incident and improve future search operations. Often, search operation reports are limited to textual descriptions and geographic information is lost.

You'll create a snapshot using the Situation Awareness widget. This snapshot will save new incident data layers in a time-stamped web map, preserving the situation at a specific moment in time.

  1. Click the Situation Awareness widget (under the search box).

    The Situation Awareness widget opens to the Incident tab. The map zooms out to the full extent of the relevant data, showing the search area, the surrounding trails, and the location where the subject was found. Some data layers are automatically turned on or off.

    You'll draw a polygon around the relevant area. This polygon will become the extent of your snapshot.

  2. Under Locate Incident, click the Draw polygon button.

    Draw polygon button

  3. Using the same polygon editing controls you used when drawing search segments, draw a polygon around the relevant search data, including the PLS, the LKP, the entire search area, and some of the surrounding trails.

    Polygon drawn around incident data

  4. In the Situation Awareness widget, click Create snapshot.

    Create snapshot button

    The Set Snapshot Properties window appears.

  5. For Name, type Incident 001 20181009.
  6. Click OK.

    After a few seconds, the snapshot is created. A message appears to confirm successful creation.

  7. Click Created snapshot successfully.

    Created snapshot successfully message link

    The snapshot opens as a web map in a new browser tab. The data may be turned off by default, but can be turned on from the Content pane. This web map can be shared using the Share button.

In this lesson, you created and used the MapSAR Situation Awareness Viewer to search for a missing person in Yosemite National Park. You plotted the IPP, highlighted points of interest, created assignment maps, updated data as developments occurred, and archived important incident data.

This lesson covered most basic capabilities needed for a search operation. However, GIS provides many more capabilities for data management, field mobility, spatial analysis, and geographic storytelling.

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.