Spatial Services' Emergency Information Coordination Unit (EICU) ensures the emergency management sector has the best spatial and related data available to deal with multi-agency emergencies, such as terrorism and natural disasters.
The EICU aims to implement and maintain a collaborative data sharing system on behalf of emergency service organisations and the emergency management sector in general.
The EICU developed and now maintains the Emergency Services Spatial Information Library (ESSIL), which combines data from more than 200 source agencies into 350 seamless state-wide layers. These layers encompass all areas of emergency planning, response and recovery. The EICU supports the safety of the public through the availability of spatial data for management, planning and mitigation of emergencies.
This data is bundled into an easy to use interface for decision makers and other end users in emergency services who do not have a background in geospatial technology. This interface satisfies one of the main requirements for an emergency related application - 'it must work anywhere anytime'. This interface, which makes maps, shows locations, produces situation reports and allows users to undertake spatial analysis for activities like evacuation, search and rescue, is used by a wide range of emergency management agencies across the state.
The EICU supports events such as New Year’s Eve and the City to Surf as well as other special events like Splendour in the Grass. Events like these require coordination of mapping across 30 agencies – leading up to and during the event. For Australia Day in Sydney, for example, the EICU team collates data and its associated attributes from agencies including Roads and Maritime Services, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain Trust and affected councils into one database. The team then creates site specific maps with the ability to click layers on or off as required by emergency services. EICU also makes staff available to provide direct mapping support in the Government Coordination Centre (GCC) during these events.