National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Work with Incident Data

A GISS can receive and be required to work with all manner of geospatial data on an incident. They should be prepared to access, convert, and often 'clean-up' any format from GPX to XLS.

A GISS must also be prepared to instruct personnel on the use of the many data collection apps.

ArcGIS Mobile Apps (Field Maps & Survey123)

Field Maps is the recommended mobile app for use with official Incident Web Map Templates. Collector is no longer supported by Esri or the Wildfire Response Support Team. Please encourage all field editors to download Field Maps.

ArcGIS mobile apps use REST services to store data. For wildfire incidents, these services are most often the National Incident Feature Service (NIFS). This makes the ArcGIS apps the most efficient means to collect data as it must only be reviewed, not exported, processed or converted, and imported as well.

On incidents, the offline functionality is often used with these apps due to slow or intermittent internet or cellular connectivity. This means a copy of the data is made on the device and then edited, with the changes being synced back to the service when the user is able.

Occasionally, an app will be unable to sync back to the service. When this occurs, the data stored on the device can be manually retrieved by a GISS.


KML can be added directly to ArcGIS Pro but capabilities are limited. For any operation other than quick visualization, it is still best to convert the KML to a file geodatabase using KML to Layer.

Avenza Data Collection

If possible, ensure users have an Avenza Pro license. This allows them to export any data as a Shapefile, skipping the need to convert from another format.

Please use the following links or contacts for obtaining Avenza licensing information:

GPS Data

Job Aids



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