Map of SAR Incidents in BC 2011

Map of SAR Incidents in BC 2011
Map of BC SAR Teams and Incidents from 2011 /2012

My good friend Rick Laing, SAR Manager and member of Ridge Meadows SAR and GIS guru sent me a link to a map he published.

It has the locations of all of the SAR teams in BC, and includes all of the incidents from 2011  and 2012 that have spatial coordinates entered into the BC SAR Information System (BCSARIS).

Map of BC SAR Teams and Incidents from 2011 /2012

In Rick’s words

Some of the location data (lat/lon, UTM) was on BCSARIS, some I guessed at from the description either in the task report or from the incident summaries and looking it up on Google Earth or in the BC Gazeteer spreadsheet. Many teams didn’t include any information at all so the incident location is the hometown of the team (look at Chilliwack!)

All teams in BC are required to enter data into the BCSARIS system, but there are different levels of compliance. From my efforts on the InfoSAR project I can tell that most teams don’t enter all their tasks, and many teams don’t bother with coordinates.

That’s too bad, because maps like the one Rick produced are very useful for planning. For example, books like Robert Koester’s Lost Person Behaviour were written by analyzing many years worth of data on searches like these. British Columbia happens to have one of the largest number of SAR incidents per year of any single jurisdiction in Canada or the US (US SAR teams are usually managed on a county-by-county basis by various Sheriffs) and would be an amazing source of data for future reference.

In addition, knowing where people get lost, and what kinds of injuries they sustain could lead to trail or signage improvements. Several years back my team did some trail work that eliminated lost people on a trail in our area.

Rick made the map using ArcGIS, and published it on ArcGIS Explorer Online. The site can take a little while to load so be patient.

The link to the map: BCSARA Member Groups

If anyone has any questions about this map I’d be happy to forward requests to Rick, feel free to contact me or comment below.

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