Capturx Software for Digital Pens Used to Fight Raging Wildfires in California

SEATTLE, WA — (Marketwire) — 03/09/09 — As prolonged drought continues in California,fire teams are preparing for the new reality of a year-round fire season.In recent years, California has faced record destruction and evacuationsdue to fires, prompting Governor Schwarzenegger to declare “we need everyfirefighting resource and tool on ready alert, so we can spring to actionwhen disaster strikes.” Effective fire response requires advance planningand understanding of variable terrains and changing conditions. To quicklyplan and respond to these rapidly changing wildfires, Adapx announced todaythat Captain Michael Hoose from the Santa Barbara Fire Department is usingCapturx for ArcGIS to quickly track and share conditions using paper mapsand digital pens that automatically integrate field notes into GIS systems.

Capturx for ArcGIS was deployed recently to help respond to the Chalk Firethat burned more than 16,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest,adjacent to several heavily populated areas in the Monterrey-Carmel Valleyregion. Using the Capturx digital pens and standard paper maps, teamsquickly collected important data such as hazard areas, water sources,archeological spots, and safety zones from the scene of the wildfires. Oncethe information was stored on the digital pen, the response teamsautomatically uploaded the data into the county’s mapping geodatabase whichwas located at the Incident Command Post (ICP).

“Prior to using Capturx, our field teams would have to return to the ICPearly enough so that they could make copies of the paper maps, then sharetheir notes and observations with a GIS specialist, who would manuallyenter that information into a computer,” said Captain Michael Hoose,14-year veteran of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. “Capturx savesus countless hours of digitizing information which means field observerscan collect more accurate and up-to-the-minute intelligence in the field.As a result, we can better determine the best course of action for how wewant to respond to the wildfire.”

Training is not required for field observers because the pen works withordinary paper and writes like any standard ballpoint pen. Data frommultiple field observers can easily be aggregated together, providing acomplete picture of field events.

“We’re extremely pleased with Capturx for ArcGIS, it’s easy to use and mostimportantly — assists us in making the right decision at the right time,”adds Hoose.

Teams can also learn more about Capturx Solutions for Wildfire andEmergency Response at the following hands-on workshops and conferences thisspring:

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