Update the Master Incident GDB

GISS Workflow Diagram:  Update the Master Incident GDB

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GIS Workflow, explained below

Update the Master Incident GDB – Done After Every Edit Cycle

  1. Internet Access?
    1. YES – Sync and then Backup Local Copy (ArcMap) or Download Map (ArcGIS Pro)
      1. Determine the path and name of the Local Copy.
      2. Synchronize Local Copy with the NIFS.
      3. Create a copy of the Local Copy, paste it into the daily backup folder under incident_data\backups and rename following GeoOps.
    2. NO – Backup Edit Incident GDB
      1. Copy the Edit Incident GDB in incident_data\edit and paste into the backup folder under incident_data\backups. Rename following GeoOps.
      2. Upload a copy of the backup to Fire Enterprise Geospatial Portal (EGP) when the internet becomes available.
  2. Replace Master Incident GDB – Use the current GDB backup to overwrite the Master Incident GDB with the newest incident data. Maintain the GeoOps naming convention.

Overview of Implementing the Master Incident GDB

The Master Incident GDB is the File GDB used for all incident map creation stored in the \incident_data folder. When utilizing the Nation Incident Feature Service, it is simply a copy of the Local Copy created after edits are complete. The Master Incident GDB should be replaced each time updates are made to the service that will need to be reflected in printed maps.

The following is a general outline of the process. More detailed instructions are found in the various How To documents of the NWCG GISS Workflow, PMS 936-1.

  1. Start by implementing one of the AGOL and Mobile Workflows (either the Standard or Approval Workflow) in ArcGIS Online.
  2. Once your incident web maps are saved and shared, create your Edit Project and add the National Incident Feature Service (NIFS).
  3. Zoom to the area of your incident and create a Local Copy of the service.
  4. When a Local Copy of the service is created, the Event Features in the Table of Contents will automatically be changed to reference to the local database created.
    •   The ArcMap Default location is C:\Users\[username]\Documents\ArcGIS\FeatureServiceLocalEdits
    •   The ArcGIS Pro Default location is the project Home Folder.
    •   This database is the Local Copy. In ArcMap it is a File GDB and will change with each download and sync. In ArcGIS Pro it is a Mobile GDB that will persist after download until removed.
  5. Start an edit session and configure the Feature Templates for the incident. Your templates will persist through each Local Copy that you make if you continue to use the same map.
  6. When editing is complete, save a copy of the Local Copy to the incident_data\backups folder before syncing with the service, changing the name to follow GeoOps standards. The Mobile GDB to File GDB geoprocessing tool will need to be used in Pro.
  7. Move a copy of the backup just created the incident_data\ folder and rename with the proper GeoOps convention ([year]_[incident name]_[unit ID+local incident ID]_event_[software].gdb), replacing any previous database. This is your Master Incident GDB for map creation.
  8. Create all map products using the Master Incident GDB.

NOTE: Never edit the Master Incident GDB. All data edits should be completed in the Edit Project.

Job Aids

The process and concepts in these videos are still mostly valid and useful for understanding the options available, but please review the NWCG GISS Workflow, PMS 936-1 and NWCG Standards for Geospatial Operations, PMS 936 for the most current information and naming conventions.

Using the Event GDB for Incident Mapping


Video Notes: Naming Convention Updates:

The database under \incident_data, referred to as the "Mapping GDB" in several videos, is now called the Master Incident GDB.

Any database downloaded in ArcMap or Pro is called the Local Copy.

The Edit GDB now refers only to the database used for edits when the NIFS is not being used or is unavailable (placed under \incident_data\edit).


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