Virtual Emergency Management

Project Info

Null VRiables thumbnail

Team Name

Null VRiables

Team Members

5 members with unpublished profiles.

Project Description

Thick black smoke chokes the city, as fire moves in from the West. Emergency vehicles race to the fire front, as residents, schools and businesses prepare to evacuate. As embers begin to fall on the outer suburbs, everyone's next decisions are crucial.

Situational awareness is paramount in dealing with any emergency situation. Virtual Emergency Management creates a virtual environment that allows an emergency commander to be fully immersed in the situation, through VR, knowing the position of all their resources. The direction of the wind, and position of emergency vehicles, evacuation centres, potentially threatened lives and infrastructure are all mapped out in three dimensions. They are aware of it all.

In the city, evacuations are coordinated flawlessly to available schools. The emergency vehicles are directed in the optimal plan to stop the fire, keeping a constant supply of water. Although some houses could not be saved at the city's periphery, no lives are lost.

Data Story

Our project places the user in a realistic environment utilising weather conditions, time of day, wind and terrain data. Using various relevant data sets within the VR experience allows for more effective information sharing and collaboration between agencies. It can also drive a more informed decision making process during domestic emergencies or national security events.

To demonstrate this, we created a six square kilometre area in the centre of Canberra. We then fed several large data-sets from the ACT Government and the Bureau of Meteorology into the environment to create a 3D Virtual Reality Emergency management experience. Some of the data used is obviously relevant for use within an emergency, while other data sets are seemingly unrelated until viewed in this format.

In the initial scene, emergency vehicles, displayed in Yellow, travel through the environment following the same path they took in 2016. Emergency call outs for 2016 are displayed in Red to compliment the vehicle data. Major water catchments are displayed in Blue, Schools across Canberra in Pink and sports ovals in Green. We have also used an international data-set to display airport locations to assist in managing major emergency incidents.

Evidence of Work



Project Image

Team DataSets

World Airport, airline and route data

Description of Use Imported International dataset for location of airports in the ACT for use within the Virtual Emergency Management

Data Set


Description of Use Used to show the location of Canberra's sporting grounds in the virtual environment.

Data Set

ESA Incidents and Responses 2014 - 2016 Suburb

Description of Use Imported data set for to show emergency call out locations in the virtual environment.

Data Set

Surface Hydrology Cartography

Description of Use Utilising this dataset to extract water catchment features

Data Set

ESA vehicle locations in the period between 201608 - 201609

Description of Use Exported data as CSV and imported the vehicles into the project for dynamic movement based on actual GPS locations as they occurred.

Data Set

2003 Bushfire (Affected Areas)

Description of Use Imported Shapefile from the data into Blender, converted, extruded the faces and exported this model into a FBX 3d Mesh for mapping.

Data Set

ACT School Locations 2017 - archived

Description of Use Imported csv data into project for mapping of ACT school locations.

Data Set

Challenge Entries

Transforming the national to the international (National)

Where should Australian Businesses go next?

Go to Challenge | 15 teams have entered this challenge.

Future Canberra

What does a sustainable, resilient and liveable Canberra look like – and what do we need to do to make that happen?

Go to Challenge | 9 teams have entered this challenge.

Bounty: Q ANZAC 100 Challenge

How might we engage Queenslanders with Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation?

Go to Challenge | 5 teams have entered this challenge.

More than apps and maps: help government decide with data

How can we combine data to help government make their big and small decisions? Government makes decisions every day—with long term consequences such as the location of a school, or on a small scale such as the rostering of helpdesk staff.

Go to Challenge | 58 teams have entered this challenge.

Bounty: Mix and Mashup

How can we combine the uncombinable?

Go to Challenge | 61 teams have entered this challenge.

Data as Art

Awarded to the team who creates the most original piece of art using ACT Government data

Go to Challenge | 5 teams have entered this challenge.

Story telling with data

Awarded to the team who use data to tell the most compelling story about Canberra

Go to Challenge | 5 teams have entered this challenge.

Working Together

How can open government data to improve responsers' situational understanding and ability to plan their response, and share their information between agencies? How can sharing information between agencies be improved by different information presentation, allowing more informed decisions during domestic emergencies or national security events?

Go to Challenge | 20 teams have entered this challenge.

Caring Canberra

How do we make Canberra the most inclusive city in Australia?

Go to Challenge | 9 teams have entered this challenge.

My Canberra

How do I learn about, and connect with, my city, my suburb or my neighbourhood?

Go to Challenge | 13 teams have entered this challenge.