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Keeping Track of the President Throughout Inaugural Weekend

NIMA "Maintains Situational Awareness" with ArcView

On January 18, 2001, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) began 24-hour support to the 2001 Presidential Inauguration by creating digital event maps and Federal GIS logo

NIMA supported the following five locations:

  • The Military District of Washington's Emergency Operation Center
  • Secret Service's Multi-Agency Coordination Center
  • NIMA's Operation Center-Bethesda
  • Joint Interagency Intelligence Support Element
  • Joint Operation Center

To minimize the challenge of passing large imagery and map files across dial-up connections, five separate projects running on laptops were used, passing only single shapefiles and annotation layers (.avt) between the locations while ensuring that all locations were able to have a common perspective of the inaugural activities. Data was input from various law enforcement and military units, provided by the customers via an event monitor and immediately annotated on the event displays.

Left: Digital Map with jurisdiction boundaries defined and overlays displayed in ArcView.

The map was updated, the shapefile replicated to the other sites, and in 90 seconds it was displayed at all locations. In the days before the inauguration, team members used GPS digital cameras to capture the changes made to the many venues in preparation of the parade and other activities. These pictures were hot-linked to the ArcView projects using the Kodak extension. Additionally, hot-linking scripts were used to call external applications including Skyline Software Systems' TerraExplorer, which provided additional situational awareness in the form of a three-dimensional fly-through of the parade route and surrounding areas.

As a result of the project's success, similar NIMA capabilities are under consideration for consequence management at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

For more information, contact Stacy Mayse, geospatial analyst, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, 4600 Sangamore Rd., Bethesda, Maryland 20816 (e-mail:

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