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MapDesk Info

What is MapDesk?

MapDesk is a Windows desktop GIS program developed and maintained by NSW Rural Fire Service.   It is an extension to ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop and required a licensed version of the ArcGIS run-time product to be installed before it can be used. Appropriate software and training, including MapDesk, is made available to all members


Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) has standardised a National All Hazards mapping symbology set including symbols for bushfire mapping.

click to view AFAC Bushfire Mapping Symbols

Using the AFAC-endorsed symbol set, MapDesk’s Incident Mapper functionality assists GIS operators to create and update cartographic quality, printer-ready maps of bushfire incidents in size up to A0.

click to view sample MapDesk map

MapDesk comes with a standard library of digital topographic and cultural map layers covering eastern Australia.  Included in the library are geographic place names, roads, rivers, power lines, land division boundaries, building footprints, contour lines, georectified aerial imagery layers and may other feature sets.

click to view sample MapDesk spatial data

Briefly, using drawing tools from MapDesk’s palette of standard fire-mapping point, line and polygon symbology, the GIS operator places incident-specific fire features on top of relevant background layers chosen from the library , and then prepares a printer-ready layout of the map with the usual scale bar, graticule and other edge matter.

click to view MapDesk user interface

All the incident-specific fire features drawn by the GIS operator are stored in an ArcGIS Personal Geodatabase as a permanent record of the incident.

click to view MapDesk data flow

Finally, the complete set of fire features is exported from the MapDesk Personal Geodatabase and uploaded to the NSW RFS Incident Control Online (ICON) system for concurrent viewing by other members of the Incident Management Team, and for post-event review and audit.

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