BEST PRACTICE: Creating Common Operational Picture

Creating Common Operational Pictures during the Preparedness Phase

A Common Operating Picture (COP) helps establish and maintain situational awareness for on scene and off scene personnel. This includes the Incident Command Post, Emergency Operations Center, and other coordinated groups to have the same information about the incident and location of resources.

Mishigami Group works with emergency managers and the Incident Command System by creating updated aerial imagery integrated with overlays of relevant emergency information that allows for a better vision and understanding of the incident area of interest.

“We work from a preparedness standpoint”, states Matt Rybar, a Mishigami Group Partner and lead for the Mishigami Geospatial projects. “One of the five major components of NIMS [National Incident Management System] is communication and information management. Our products help give that flexibility needed to help response partners to establish a quick and easy common operating picture that allows for the cross communication needed.”

“The military uses this in all of their operations” said Jeremy Latchaw, President of Mishigami Group and an Army Reservist that teaches at the Command and General Staff College. A map overlay with grid squares that is geospatial rectified allows first responders to find the problems, communicate on one standard, and quickly assess the area of interest. With military grad mapping software, these maps called Mishigami Geospatial Graphics, or “MG2s” help track personnel, layout the area of interest, and maneuver personnel throughout the space.

Institutions are using this product to have an updated aerial view of their campus with accurate blueprint and disaster plan overlays for each phase of their disaster plans. “This adds a visual to the plan” states Latchaw, “we must have written plans and then a visual of that plan to creates a common operation picture in a graphic form”. This product is quickly becoming a best practice for practitioners in preparations and are being utilized during events to keep a common, simple, communication management system.

To learn more about how this could help your program and planning efforts contact


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