Data Layers

You can customize your view by overlaying different data layers in order to give you the combination of information you need.

Maps represent most of the base layers, while Data, Tracking, and Weather layers place their information on top of the map.


There are several types of maps, and new map types are added regularly.

  • Google Physical Relief Map: Elevation and street information
  • US Topo – 7.5 min. Quadrangle Maps: USGS 7.5/15 mins. seamless topographical maps
  • Google Satellite Imagery Map: Birds eye imagery of the Earth
  • Google Satellite and Streets Map: Combination of Satellite and Streets
  • Google Streets Map: Streets drawn and labeled
  • Open Street Map: Open source mapping resource (street view)
  • FAA - Sectional Aeronautical Charts
base layers

The Base Layers Menu

Data Layers

Data layers are the geo-information that can be placed on top of the Map layer. Layers are turned on and off by checking and unchecking boxes next to their name. You may also shut off all data layers by clicking the "Turn Off All Layers" button at the bottom of the drop down menu.

Data layers are organized in a tree file structure. In addition to SCOUT providing some general layers to every incident, SCOUT also creates an “incident folder” for each newly created incident that has any unique data for that incident. This can be found in a folder with the incident’s name in the UPLOAD folder. Furthermore, it is possible for authorized users to upload data from other sources, such as those listed in the Virtual Library.

Some Example Data Layers

  • Geographical Boundaries/CA/CA DPA: gives jurisdiction boundaries within California.
  • History & Statistics/Fire History/CA: shows regions of major fires for the past 50 years in 10 year increments.
  • Utilities: displays underground pipelines.

Administrative and GIS Users can import data layers under the “Data” menu. This creates new data layers in the "Upload" folder.

The Data Layers Tree and Menu

data layers

Tracking Layers:

Tracking layers, unlike data layers, are very dynamic and designed specifically to allow the mapping/plotting of GPS-enabled devices within SCOUT. These are usually based upon near-real time data feeds from instrumented vehicles, aircraft, apparatus, and personnel, also called Automated Vehicle Location (AVL), Automated Flight Following (AFF) and Personal Location Information (PLI). Some uses for Tracking layers are for managing units in a field, following a moving target, or just marking hotspots of activity while in the field.

Weather Layers:

Weather layers are also dynamic layers pertaining to current meteorological conditions. They can be turned on and off from the weather menu in the upper right corner of the map.

weather layers

The Weather Layers Menu

VIDEO: Utilizing data layers