National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Directory Structure and File Naming

GeoOps Incident Directory Structure

At the heart of all Geographic Information System Specialist (GISS) work is the NWCG Standards for Geospatial Operations (GeoOps), PMS 936, Incident Directory Structure.

The Current Incident Directory Structure downloaded zip file contains all the essential folders, templates, and tools. It should be the default starting point for every incident.

The incident folder should be placed at or as close to the drive root as possible. This reduces clicks necessary to access items within, as well as keeps the file path as short as possible.

E.g., C:\2023_Incidents\2023_ExampleFire\

Current Incident Directory Structure (zip file)

Implementing the Incident Directory Structure can be as simple as extracting and saving the YYYY_Template folder to your computer and rename it for the incident. A GISS can extract and begin populating the directory structure even before arriving at the incident.

Configure the ArcGIS Pro Project Template

Preparing the Pro Project Template as the first step in setting up an incident will streamline map creation and provide a solid foundation for its duration.

GISS Workflow-Data Preparation-Set up the ArcGIS Pro Project Template

Note: It is very important to begin with a new zip of the Current_GeoOps_Folder_Structure when setting up a project. This will allow the Pro Project Template to establish the correct file pathways. Reusing the folder structure or the Pro Project Template is not recommended.

  1. Create Incident File Structure.
    1. Unzip the Current GeoOps Folder Structure as close to the root drive as possible.
    2. Rename the 2023_Template folder to the incident name.
      Rename the template folder to the incident name.

Note: A display issue affects the Home Folder name in some versions of Pro. Even after renaming it to the incident name, it may still display as 2023_Template in the project folders. This can be edited here or left as is, after confirming the underlying connection is correct.

Example of the display issue with the home folder not displaying the correct name, but the underlying connection remains correct

  1. Customize the Template to the Incident.
    1. In the \projects folder, open the 2023_ProProjectTemplate APRX file.
    2. In the Project Databases folder under Contents, rename the Default GDB (the other_incident_data GDB) with the incident name and local ID.
      Rename the other_incident_data GDB with the incident name and local ID

Note: A slow double-click on the database name in the Catalog View must be used to update the name. The Rename button will be grayed out.
Be sure to rename the Default GDB prior to opening the provided Map View or a database lock will be created, and you will be unable to rename the Default GDB.

  1. Rename the Annotation and Progression GDBs as well.
  2. Navigate to the Maps folder.
    Open the provided map view {MapType}_2023_{IncidentName}.
    1. Add the Incident Name to the map title, but leave {MapType}.
    2. Repair the path of the DynamicTextUpdate table to the existing table in the Default GDB.

Rename the Map and repair the DynamicTextUpdate table by clicking on the red exclamation point and navigating to the DynamicTextUpdate table

  1. Set the coordinate system of the map to a local projected coordinate system.

Set the coordinate system to a local projected coordinate system in the properties

Note: By setting the coordinate system now, all incident projects will inherit this configuration.
If you do not wish to use the same coordinate system for all incident projects, this can be set after each Save-As of the ProProjectTemplate APRX.

  1. Save the Project.

File Naming

The GeoOps file naming and directory structure are designed to serve as metadata. The file and folder names include incident-specific identification information which facilitates archival and use by the hosting agency, Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs), etc.

File names must be complete and stand on their own outside of the file structure. File names must be concise, use clear text, and avoid ambiguous terms.

The general format for file naming is: {date and time}_{incident information}_{other information}; however, this will vary depending on the file in question. It is strongly recommended all GISS use the GeoOps File Namer for consistency and accuracy on all file names.

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