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The US Forest Service (USFS) National Geospatial Services maintains a program known as the Disturbances Assessment and Services (DAS) Program. DAS provides a wide breadth of information as part of tactical and strategic geospatial support to forest service units and external partners. DAS also provides rapid assessment and analysis services following major disturbances such as wildfires, severe weather, and natural disasters. This program supports several programmatic activities; namely, the most relevant one to this project, Active Fire Mapping (AFM)

Starting in 2018, Xentity worked with the USFS DAS program by providing two full-time, on-site Associate Geospatial Analysts to perform DAS GIS services. In supporting these efforts, DAS has become more comprehensive in the use of satellite imagery and providing data targeted to specific fire professionals, such as fire activity and fire radiative power, which is used to determine/model a particular type of fire intensity or source. Xentity also provided geospatial support services to AFM and related initiatives related DAS programs/projects and Forest Service resource management projects aligned with the GTAC/DAS program mission.

Building a More Comprehensive Use of Satellite Imagery For the Use of Fire Professionals

The USFS wanted the DAS program to be more comprehensive in its use of satellite imagery, and then to  provide data from that imagery to specific fire professionals. This placed the project’s focus particularly on AFM and other related initiatives.

Not only did Xentity provide geospatial support services to these several initiatives, but they also developed and maintained operational geospatial frameworks/systems. We edited, debugged, and tested export scripts to write and copy shape-files files to multiple locations. Then we changed these detections export scripts to write to a new geodatabase location. From there, we created a new geodatabase for the USFS’s server and edited the script to only ingest mod-res data into the geodatabase, eliminating the highres shape-files, along with to detections to export script to copy shape-files to a new folder location for troubleshooting issues.

Xentity also helped in the development and management of Geospatial Data, Products, and Workflows. They developed and tested various optimization options for the AFM map export series. Products export were optimized, yielding timing decrease of 50%. Xentity even provided continuous troubleshooting and implementation of fixes and/or escalation as problems arise.

Operational Geospatial Data For Programmatic Activities in the USFS

As a result of Xentity’s efforts, the USFS has seen more efficient, cost-effective and/or higher quality geospatial processes. They have also seen efficiencies in workflows relevant to AFM and other DAS programmatic activities. This is particularly relevant to the fact that many of DAS’ activities revolve around responses to various natural disasters.

Xentity’s efforts also enabled operational production and the delivery of low-latency AFM geospatial data, products and services. Also, they provided additional geospatial support services to related wildfire/disturbance assessment. Furthermore, they supported other DAS programmatic activities (incident support, post-fire mapping and assessment, non-wildfire disaster response, etc.). USFS now sees a more efficient, data-minded version of DAS, which can provide its data to appropriate fire-response professionals.