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In 2018, the world - the U.S. in particular - suffered one of the deadliest and most destructive years on record as a result of disasters. Hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis exacted an enormous economic and human toll on society. While it may be impossible to prevent all of these, we can be better prepared and more coordinated in our response to save time, lives, and money.

When disaster strikes, it is very difficult for all relevant parties to coordinate a response. First responders, government, and civilians often see different data and develop discreet recovery plans. Even neighboring police departments may not be sharing all the information present. This disconnect hampers the efficiency and precision of the recovery effort.

Bringing all relevant personnel into one environment and sharing detailed geographical data in real-time allows all responders to see a clear operating picture and thus are able to coordinate the most effective response as a result.

What it does

CommandPost allows individuals to log-in to a central video chat room and share data while looking at a map. In the video example, we look at the Woolsey Fire (2018) in the Los Angeles area and add detailed data about the incident. Anyone in the room (could be numerous police, fire, and ems personnel) are able to view incident details and discuss a response in real time.

How I built it

This is a cloud software tool that heavily leverages's RTC toolset. The application is built in Ruby on Rails, coded in HTML, CSS, JS, and Ruby, and deployed using Heroku's cloud servers. Anyone can access the project here:

Challenges I ran into

Integrating Agora's technology at first was a bit challenging, however the documentation is well put together so I was able to develop a functioning solution rather quickly. Some browser dependency issues but nothing else catastrophic.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

It works. And anyone (even you!) can access the link and play around with the demo application.

What's next for CommandPost

If this is received well, I will take this to several first-responder organizations and see their interest in using a tool such as CommandPost. I hope this can streamline disaster response efforts in the future to save time, lives, and money.

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