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 download 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.

Eg C:\2020_Incidents\2020_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. The current Event GDB and Layer files are already present in the template file structure under \tools.

Configure the Pro Project Template

There are some additional steps required to prepare the Pro Project Template to work within the structure.

Prepare the Incident Directory Structure for use with ArcGIS Pro

  1. Creating Incident File Structure.
    1. Unzip the Current GeoOps Folder Structure as close to the root drive as possible.
    2. Rename the 2020_[template] folder to the incident name.
      Renaming the Incident Folder in Window File Explorer.
      Note: It is very important that the most current Current GeoOps Folder Structure be used when setting up ArcGIS Pro. This will allow the Pro Project Template to establish the correct file pathways. The Pro Project Template can be added to an older Folder Structure, but the Default GDB will need to be reset to the correct Other_Incident_Data.gdb and the DynamicTextUpdate table will need to be imported there. Other issues may arise and it is not recommended.
  2. Customize the Template to the Incident.
    1. In the \projects folder, open the 2020_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.
      Renaming the Default geodatabase in ArcGIS Pro.
      Note: Be sure to rename the Default GDB before opening the provided Map View or database lock will be created.
      • Prior to 2.4, simply renaming the Default GDB will not update the Default GDB setting. This issue has been corrected in 2.4.
        • Open the Project Options and click the browse button next to the Default GDB path.
        • Navigate to and select the just renamed other_incident_data GDB in the Project Databases folder.

      Note: A display issue also affects the Home Folder name. Even after renaming it to the incident name, it may still display as 2020_[template] in the project folders. This can be left as is, as long as the underlying connection is correct. This is fixed in 2.5.
      Hovering over the Home Folder to display the file path in ArcGIS Pro.
    3. Rename the Annotation and Progression GDBs found in the \incident_data folder.
      Renaming the Progression and Annotation GDBs in the incident data folder.
    4. And the Edit GDB in the incident_data\edit folder.
      Renaming the Edit GDB to GeoOps standards in ArcGIS Pro.
    5. Navigate to the Maps folder and open the provided map view {MapType}_2020_{IncidentName}.
      1. Add the Incident Name to the map title, but leave {MapType}.
        Renaming the Map to include the incident name an map type from the Pro table of contents.
      2. Repair the path of the DynamicTextUpdate table to the existing table in the Default GDB.
        Repairing the data source for the DynamicTextUpdate table by clicking the red exclamation mark.
    6. Save the Project.
      The save project button highlighted in ArcGIS Pro.

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.

Job Aid

GeoOps File Namer (.xls spreadsheet)

Using and Customizing the GSTOP File Namer



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