The United States Forest Service (USFS) fights wildfires and other natural disasters in more than 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, totaling an estimated 193 million acres or 30 percent of all federally-managed lands. The USFS Geospatial Management Office (GMO) is responsible for the implementation of the Forest Service geospatial program, which includes using technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, cartography, geodesy and global positioning systems (GPS).

Every year thousands of acres of forests are engulfed in fires. Recognizing the benefits of geospatial technology, the USFS GMO has included Avenza System Inc.’s award-winning PDF Maps mobile app to deliver interactive digital maps to fire fighters and emergency response teams situated in forests across the U.S. and its territories.

“Accessing maps on mobile devices ensure responders have accurate and current geographic information while they’re out in the field,” says Carl Zulick, geospatial information officer, USFS. “Avenza’s PDF Maps app makes it possible for teams to use any map digitally without requiring a data connection while involved in an emergency situation.”

With increased use of digital solutions, the USFS benefits from Avenza’s PDF Maps app geospatial technology in enabling its thousands of firefighters and support personnel. The PDF Maps app aids emergency response teams who use digital devices for work in the field. It provides constant access to geographic information and points of interest, with additional interactive features such as measuring, place marking and location tagging. Avenza’s PDF Maps app operates without the risk of lost reception due to cell tower proximity and does not rely on an internet connection to use map data. It uses GPS to obtain and display an accurate position on the ground regardless of network connectivity.

The app is available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store and is free for personal recreational use. A Windows version is currently in public beta release. Commercial, government and academic use licensing is available for a nominal annual fee.

About Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with software tools for making better maps, as well as the PDF Maps mobile mapping system. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services.