The User's Guide
describes the features and
operation of the Pilot Impacts Portal. The portal was developed
with the aim of being self explanatory in its operation;
however, there are some features which would benefit from
further explanation. Reading this guide is encouraged.
provides a high level overview of the portal.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have selected a boundary map layer (e.g. LGA) but nothing has changed on the map, why?
It is likely that you are not zoomed in sufficiently. The layer's label will be greyed out if this is the case.
Try zooming in further and the boundary layer should eventually appear. For CCD's in particular you need to
zoom right in so that you are only viewing a few suburbs.
The spinning wheel icon keeps spinning but nothing seems to be happening, what is going on?
Occasionally, when retriving data from the server, the portal gets confused about how many requests it
is waiting for data from. This will result in the spinning wheel staying spinning. Refresh the page
in your browser and the portal state will be reset. You will lose all of your selections though.
I have the LGA boundary layer turned on and visible and have selected a location using
the "Find Location" box, but I'm not able to generate a report for it, why?
Using the "Find Location" mechanism does not automatically select the surrounding region and
an LGA or SLA region must be selected in order to generate a report.
To select the surrounding region click your mouse on the map near your location's marker.
I would like to select multiple regions at once and generate a combined report for them, is this possible?
Not at the moment. We are aware that this feature would be very nice to have and if future development work
is carried out on the portal this feature is likely to be included.
I have found an event marker on the map that is incorreclty placed, is there a way to have this fixed?
We are aware of a few errors and inaccuracies in our Historical Event data. In most cases we have not made any attempt to
fix or clean the source event data we have retrieved from third parties. In particular, the AG disaster markers usually
only represent a very approximate location.
If an event marker is obviously misplaced then please use the "Contact Us" form to let us know and we will investigate it.
I used the "Find Location" box to search for a suburb name and it found a matching suburb but in the wrong state,
how do I get it to find the correct one?
Try to be specific as possible when entering the location to search for. It is ok to enter a full street address,
e.g. "227 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW". Usually adding a town and/or state to the end will find the
correct suburb, e.g. "West End, Townsville, QLD" and "West End, Brisbane, QLD"
I get an HTTP "403 Forbidden" error when I try and access the Map View?
Some organisations block access to sites that use HTTPS. Please contact your IT support staff
to discuss allowing access to:
I'm having trouble navigating the Google Map, is there some help somewhere?
Yes, Google have help page for this here:
I just saw a pop up that said "Stop running this script?", what does this mean?
Some browsers display this message when a script within a web page is taking too long to run.
This occasionally occurs if you are attempting to display a very large number of historical events
on the map. It is safe to let the script continue running. In future, try selecting a smaller date
range, or don't display all event types at once on the map.
Some of the ABS boundary map layers are not displaying correctly and I have these messages on the map:
"Data may still be loading. Drag or refresh the page to find out!". Is there something wrong with the portal?
The ABS boundary layers are rendered by Google using Fusion tables and this is normal behaviour.
It is likely that the layer has been swapped out of Google's map tile cache and needs to be rerendered.
Usually panning and zooming the map a couple of times will result in it displaying properly.
I’ve forgotten my password, can you tell me what it is?
No, the portal only manages encoded passwords. We cannot send you your old password, but we can
send you a new one. To request a new password, send an email to:
The Impacts Framework
The Impacts Framework encapsulates the process used to
determine the economic, social, and environmental impacts,
loses and benefits resulting from a natural disaster or fire
emergency. The framework is used as a guide to determine and
measure the impacts resulting from an event.
The diagram below, from the Impacts Framework for Natural Disasters
and Fire Emergencies, summaries the Impacts Framework. The
diagram can be read from top to bottom: an event
comprises a number of event characteristics which have
an effect on an object possibly causing harm
which can lead to a range of observed and (in many cases)
measurable impacts, which can be categorised under economic,
social or environmental.
|Baseline data||Data that provides context for an event relevant to the Impacts Framework. This data includes geographic information describing the built environment, local government boundaries, residential zoning, land use details and demographics as well as information described by the Impacts Framework such as bridges, road signage, fencing, national park facilities (BBQs, shower blocks, tables and chairs, shelters, toilets), telephone poles, the electricity network, walking trails, fire towers, field crops and so on.|
|Benefit*||Any benefits the economy receives as a result of the disaster. These may include financial benefits, such as payments by the government (e.g. recovery packages), donations or insurance payouts. It may also include environmental or social benefits. Enhanced business activity is another potential benefit.|
|Bushfire*||A general term to describe a fire in vegetation.|
|Built environment||Human made buildings and infrastructure.|
|Cyclone*||An intense low-pressure system that forms over warm ocean waters at low latitudes and is sufficiently intense to produce sustained gale-force winds of at least 63 km/h. If the sustained wind reaches hurricane force of at least 118 km/h, the system is defined as a severe tropical cyclone. In other parts of the world, they are called hurricanes or typhoons.|
|Data item||A dataset available in the Pilot Impacts Portal. The dataset will be relevant to natural disasters and fire emergencies (event and impacts data) or be baseline data.|
|Dataset||An electronic collection of data.|
|Direct impact*||Impacts that result from direct contact with the event.|
|Earthquake*||The shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity.|
|Economic*||Pertaining to the production, distribution and use of income and wealth.|
|Environmental*||Impacts on the natural environment, including assets such as the soil, water, air, species, habitat, and flows such as ecosystem services.|
|Event*||An incident or situation that occurs in a particular place during a particular interval of time. The Impacts Framework in concerned with the following events: bushfire, cyclone, earthquake, fire emergency, flood, landslide, meteorite strike, storm, storm surge, tornado, tsunami.|
|Event Characteristic*||The physical features produced by an event. These are defined for each event in the Impacts Framework.|
|Event data||The measurements associated with an event, for example wind speed, flame intensity, flood height.|
|Fire Emergency*||Relates to fires other than bushfires, such as structural fires and non-structural fires.|
|Flood*||A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters from the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.|
|Harm*||The initial impact on an object, categorised as destroyed, damaged or not harmed for inanimate objects, and fatality, major injury, minor injury and not harmed for people and fauna.|
|Impact*||Is the broadest term and includes both market-based (i.e. tangible) and non-market (i.e. intangible) effects. Individual impacts can be negative or positive.|
|Impacts Framework||The Impacts Framework is based on economic principles and steps through the process one would take to determine the economic, social and environmental impacts, losses and benefits in the event of a natural disaster or fire emergency. It is accompanied by a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of supporting data items.|
|Indirect impact*||Impacts that arise as a consequence of the impacts of the event. For example, disruption to the flow of goods and services in and out of the affected area.|
|Infrastructure||The physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. bridges, roads, railways, and powerlines, sewerage, water pipes and gas supplies) needed for the operation of a community.|
|Intangible*||Items that are not normally bought or sold and for which therefore no agreement on their monetary value exists. In the context of the ‘triple bottom line’ approach used in this study, social and environmental impacts are considered to be intangible.|
|Landslide*||A landslide is the movement of rock, debris or earth down a lope. Landslides result from the failure of the materials that make up the hill slope and are driven by the force of gravity. Landslides are known also as landslips, slumps or slope failures.|
|Loss*||In economic terms, it is a measure of the impact on a specific economy. It is taken as being equal to the resources lost by the specific area as a consequence of the disaster. The resources can be expresses in time, money or intangible loss.|
|Metadata||Information describing the structure and content of a dataset.|
|Meteorite Strike*||A meteorite (strike) is a meteoroid that has survived entry through the atmosphere and reached the Earth’s surface. Other related definitions:|
Meteoroid - a small piece of dust, rock, ice or metal moving through space. Meteoroids are at least the size of a speck of dust but smaller than an asteroid.
Asteroid - small planet like bodies that orbit the sun lying mostly in the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Their diameters range from a few meters to hundreds of kilometres.
|Mitigation and Recovery data||The history of funds spent and actions performed in a region for disaster prevention, preparedness, response or recovery.|
|Model||A description of the essential features of a system under investigation, capturing their relationships and where appropriate their behaviours.|
|Natural Disaster*||The impact of abnormal or infrequent natural hazards on communities or geographic areas that are vulnerable to such hazards, causing substantial damage, disruption and possible casualties and leaving the affected communities unable to function normally. Thus, natural disasters concern the interaction of natural hazards and socio-economic systems, rather than natural hazards per se.|
|Natural Hazard||The disaster event.|
|Object*||The physical objects being impacted by each event characteristic, which may include people, fauna, flora, buildings and infrastructure.|
|Pilot Impacts Portal||A web accessible interface to the Impacts Framework and accompanying data items.|
|Social*||Impacts relating to people, such as health (e.g. death, injury, mental health) and items or places of personal (e.g. memorabilia) or cultural (e.g. heritage buildings or sacred sites) significance. It also includes impacts to the broader ‘social fabric’ of the community.|
|Storm*||A general term for relatively small-scale convective processes that develop when warm, humid air near the ground receives an initial upward push from converging surface winds and rises quickly in an unstable atmosphere. Under these conditions, cumulonimbus clouds develop rapidly to potentially reach heights of up to 20 km with associated lightning, thunder, severe wind gusts from downdraughts, heavy rain and hail.|
|Storm Surge*||Storm surge is a raised dome of water about 60 to 80 km across and typically about 2 to 5 metres higher than the normal tide level. It is caused by a combination of strong winds driving water onshore and the lower atmospheric pressure in a tropical cyclone. In the southern hemisphere, the onshore winds occur to the left of the tropical cyclone’s path. In Australia, this is the east side on the north-west and north coasts, and the south side on the east coast.|
|Tangible*||Items that are normally bought or sold and that are therefore easy to assess in monetary terms. In the context of the ‘triple bottom line’ approach used in the study, economic impacts are considered to be tangible.|
|Tornado*||A small mass of air that whirls rapidly about an almost vertical axis; made visible by clouds and by dust and debris sucked into the system.|
|Tsunami*||A sudden movement of the water column resulting from earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions in or adjacent to oceans. A tsunami is different from wind-generated surface waves on the ocean, such as storm surges. The passage of a tsunami involves the movement of water from the surface to the sea floor, which means its spread is controlled by water depth. Consequently, as the was approaches land reaches increasingly shallow water, it slows. However, the water column still in deeper water is moving slightly faster and catches up, resulting in the wave bunching up and becoming much higher. A tsunami often is a series of waves and the first may not necessarily be the largest.|
Note a '*' indicates the term is defined in the Impacts Framework.
|AGDRP||Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment|
|AHGF||Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric|
|AIRS||Australian Incident Reporting System|
|ALUM||Australian Land Use and Management|
|ASGC||Australian Standard Geographical Classification|
|ASRIS||Australian Soil Resource Information System|
|AURIN||Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network|
|CIPMA||Critical Infrastructure Program for Modelling and Analysis|
|CSV||Comma Separated Values|
|DDMG||District Disaster Management Group|
|DEM||Digital Elevation Model|
|DFO||Dartmouth Flood Observatory|
|EMIDP||Emergency Management Information Development Plan|
|GDACS||Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System Archive|
|GNAF||Geocoded National Address File|
|HTML||Hypertext Markup Language|
|IBRA||Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia|
|LDMG||Local Disaster Management Group|
|LGA ||Local Government Area|
|MODAPS||MODIS Adaptive Processing System|
|MODIS||Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer|
|NDMP||Natural Disaster Mitigation Programme|
|NERAG||National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines|
|NEXIS||National Exposure Information System|
|NRIS||National Registration and Enquiry System|
|NSDR||National Strategy for Disaster Resilience|
|PDF||Portable Document Format|
|PPRR||Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery|
|RDSI||Research Data Storage Infrastructure|
|SCPEM||Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management|
|SDMG||State Disaster Management Group|
|SIMS||Spatial Information and Mapping System|
|SLA||Statistical Local Area|
|SQL||Structured Query Language|
|TISN||Trusted Information Sharing Network|
|URL||Uniform Resource Locator|
|XLS||Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, from the 3 letter file extension used|
|XML||Extensible Markup Language|
The following abbreviations refer to government agencies or organisations mentioned in the portal:
|ABARES||Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences|
|ABS||Australian Bureau of Statistics|
|AEC||Australian Electoral Commission|
|AFAC||Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council|
|AIHW||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
|ALA||Atlas of Living Australia|
|ANDS||Australian National Data Service|
|BOM||Bureau of Meteorology|
|CCC||Crisis Coordination Centre|
|COAG||Council of Australian Governments|
|CRC||Cooperative Research Centre|
|CSIRO||Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation|
|DCCEE||Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency|
|DEH||Department for Environment and Heritage|
|DERM||Department of Environment and Resource Management|
|DIGO||Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation|
|DSEWPC||Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities|
|EICU||Emergency Information Coordination Unit|
|EMA||Emergency Management Australia|
|EMQ||Emergency Management Queensland|
|EMWA||Emergency Management Western Australia|
|FRNSW||Fire and Rescue New South Wales|
|IAG||Insurance Australia Group|
|ICA||Insurance Council of Australia|
|LPMA||NSW Land and Property Management Authority (now abolished)|
|MDS||Map Data Services|
|MPES||Ministry for Police and Emergency Services|
|PM&C||Prime Minister & Cabinet|
|PSMA||Public Sector Mapping Agency|
|Qld FRS||Queensland Fire and Rescue Service|
|SAFECOM||South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission|
|SES||State Emergency Service|
|VBRRA||Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority|