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Geospatial data and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) are playing a bigger role than ever before in emergency response and public safety. This is according to Sandi Stroud, 9-1-1 Program Manager for the State of Minnesota, who was a speaker at 1Spatial’s Smarter Data Smarter World conference 2021 in London.

“If you've ever called 9-1-1, you may not have thought about it but there's a really sophisticated technology workflow that occurs to determine where you are and which 9-1-1 centre the call should get sent to,” she said.

Because most 9-1-1 systems were originally built using analogue rather than digital technologies, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the country need to be upgraded to a digital or Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system to support Next Generation 911 (NG911).

The project requires the validation and integration of data related to PSAP boundaries, roads and address information .  One of the key success factors is that the data must be precise (so the location data does not overlap), authoritative (from the jurisdiction that's responsible for assigning addresses or the jurisdiction that provides GIS support) and reliable (new data and data errors are updated on a three-business day cycle.)

The State of Minnesota’s shift to NG-9-1-1 involves the verification of data against specific NENA (National Emergency Number Association) rules through 1Spatial’s data validation portal, 1Data Gateway.

Video: Find out how 1Spatial is helping the State of Minnesota to transition to NG-9-1-1.  Watch the video here.

“Alexa, call 9-1-1” – the future of emergency response

She explained that location data will soon be sent to 911 call centres via device-based hybrid location methods.

“There is the ability for certain datasets to provide the XY location of the device as that device moves. So, if we display that in a mapping application, we will have the intelligence to know where the location of that caller is.”

Sandi also highlighted that GIS data will soon play an important role in helping 911 centres via virtual assistant technology. As Sandi Stroud noted: “Pretty soon here in America you're going to be able to say ‘Hey Alexa, call 9-1-1’.”

NG 9-1-1 Data Validation & Cleansing

Find out about 1Spatial’s Next Generation 9-1-1 Solution and how we are helping several states to improve the accuracy and validity of their data.