Where you go to help you know; wildland fire mobile apps cheat sheet

Graphic: Where to go to help you know. Wildland Fire Mobile Cheat Sheet.Wildland Mobile Technology Cheat Sheet

July 28, 2016  – These days, a world of information is at our fingertips. Here’s a list of mobile applications widely used within the fire and aviation management community. The cheat sheet, provided through the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, is based off of feedback and field information from pilots over the past year. It’s consolidated into general categories – most commonly occurring and relevant – to those working in the wildland fire management world. The intent of this cheat sheet is to provide a starting point for employees using mobile tech, primarily through applications and devices, in fire.

This is not an all inclusive  list and there may be more out there that may be beneficial for specific users.

Do you see one that is not on this list?

Click here for a pdf version of the Cheat Sheet: WMTWG Cheat Sheet 2016 Fire Season

Wildland Mobile Technology Working Group

Mobile Technology Cheat Sheet

Note: This list is not a recommendation or endorsement of any of these applications/technologies.  This list is not all inclusive. Application/technology use and preference is very user specific.

Mobile Applications

The tables below are applications widely used within the Fire and Aviation Management Community.

Geospatial/Mapping Applications

Application Website Operating Systems Description
Collector ESRI, Collector for ArcGIS iOS, Android, Windows 10 Offline collecting and updating of data in the field that works with ArcGIS Online. IMTs will be using this increasingly during fire season for incident data collection and maps.
Avenza PDF Maps PDF Maps website iOS, Android Geospatial PDF, GeoPDF and GeoTIFF reader. Easily downloads, browses and interacts with maps. Formats supported by ArcGIS. Ability to geotag photos, mark waypoints, export, etc. Available offline.
Topo Maps USGS topographic Maps on iPhone and iPad iOS Downloadable USGS TopoMaps and many features available such as waypoint marking, distances, navigation, etc.
GIS Pro by Grafata GIS Pro on iTunes for iPhone and iPad iOS Downloadable map tiles and ability to create features while collecting data. Easy import and export via iTunes or email – of KMLs and SHP files. Available offline.
Glympse Glympse an app to Share location information iOS, Windows, Android Location sharing in real-time
ForeFlight Foreflight, Intelligence mapping for pilots iOS Intelligence mapping for pilots. Features hazards, track up, terrain maps, runway centerlines and traffic patterns. Also provides documents for Flight Ops. Yearly subscription cost.
Gaia GPS- Offline Topo Maps GAIA GPS, Downloadable topo maps iOS, Android Downloadable topo maps, offline caching availability.

*GAIA is free for firefighters.

You Need A Map iTunes Various Maps of the USA iOS Large US map. Data is based on US Census and OpenStreetMap.org. Large file 2GB. Good quality topo with roads included.

Real time updates, primarily weather applications

Application Website Operating Systems Description
Aero Weather Lite Lakehorn, AeroWeather Pro iOS Current weather conditions and forecasts for pilots. Also contains searchable database.
Darksky Dark Sky, Source of Hyperlocal Weather iOS, Android Dark Sky is the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information. With down-to-the-minute forecasts, you’ll know exactly when the rain will start or stop, right where you’re standing.
Sunrise Sunrise/Sunset Calculator iOS Simple sunrise/sunset times automatically selected based on your lat/long location. Can operate on an iTouch and offline.
My Radar NOAA Customizable Animated Radar iOS, Android Animated weather radar around your current location. Option to receive weather warnings and alerts.
Wundermap Weather Underground Customizable weather iOS, Android Displays weather at your current location.

Documentation and Notes Applications

Application Website Operating Systems
Google Applications (Drive, Docs, etc) Google Mobile

iTunes App Preview

Android, iOS
DoForms DoForm, Mobile form builder Android, iOS
Evernote EveryNote Android, iOS
Notability Notability, Note taking on Mobile device iOS
Theodolite Theodolite on iTunes

(Theodolite lets you take geo-tagged camera images, screenshots, movies, and screen movies directly from the app, with 2X and 4X digital zoom and fast buffered saves. You can choose to overlay geographical data, time, date, and custom notes directly on photos and movies.)

Incident Command Table Table Command Homepage iOS, Android
MS Office Apps Microsoft WORD on iTunes iOS, Android,

Wildland Fire Specific Applications

Application Website Operating Systems Description
Fire Weather Calculator Fire Weather Calculator on Google Play

Fire Weather Calculator on iTunes

iOS, Android Calculation of RH, FDFM, and PIG. Archiving of weather obs. Attach pics and share.
WildFire Info http://www.firewhat.com/app/  NOT ACTIVE iOS Incident information including fire perimeters
Wildland Toolkit Peakview, Wildland Toolkit iOS Fire behavior checklists and calculations as well as IRPG safety checklists.

Miscellaneous common applications

Application Website Operating Systems Description
AndFTP AndPDF for FTP Clients Android FTP client to use when accessing the NIFC FTP site (the official interagency repository for incident data)
Perfect Reader Perfect Reader Pro – PDF and Document Reader iOS PDF Reader, annotator and file converter
DropBox Dropbox, Mobile File Stiorage App iOS, Android, Blackberry Cloud storage
FTPClient Pro FTP Client Pro on iTunes iOS FTP client when accessing the NIFC FTP site (the official interagency repository for incident data)
QR Reader Tape Media QR Code Reader iOS, Android Scans QR codes
Social Media Official Twitter / Facebook pages iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Nokia Social media apps, track real time info, follow IMTs, Crews, Dispatch Centers, GACCS, etc.

*Reminder: This isn’t all inclusive, there are several more applications that may be beneficial for specific users (i.e. GISS, Aviation personnel).

**Note: there are several mobile websites that are frequently utilized as well: WFDSS-Lite, WildfiresNearMe, EGP, etc.

Department and Agency Assistance and Guidance

Refer to your Department / Agency CIO website for guidance regarding purchasing mobile applications and associated policies or contact your local IT specialist for assistance. Certain mobile technologies (devices and/or applications) may require a Technical Approval process.

Mobile Devices

It’s really user preference! Consider what you’d primarily use it for and ask yourself a few questions to guide your selection between operating system, tablets, smartphone, and device storage:

  • Do you use your device for mapping / media storage (photos) / documentation?
  • Do you have difficulty seeing your screen or using your screen’s keyboard?
  • Do you use applications that are only available on certain operating systems?
  • Do you prefer the biometric lock feature (iOS) vs typing in your password?
  • Do you have room (cargo pocket / laptop case) to carry a bigger device?

Mobile Device Accessories

There are several accessories (e.g. solar chargers, battery boosters) that are helpful within the fire and aviation environment. Research and ask your co-workers what works best for them.

Mobile Technology in Fire and Aviation Management

(Hosted by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center)

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