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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 center the call should get sent to,” she said.

Next Generation 9-1-1

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 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1).

Data validation requirements

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.)

Verification against NENA rules

The State of Minnesota’s shift to NG9-1-1 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 NG9-1-1.  Watch the video here.

Device-based hybrid location

She explained that location data will soon be sent to 911 call centers 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.”

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

Sandi also highlighted that GIS data will soon play an important role in helping 911 centers 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

As the use of GIS data shifts from mapping to call routing, there is a need for a dramatic improvement of the completeness and accuracy of location data. Numerous data quality challenges however exist in the transition to a digital-based system.

1Spatial's Next-Generation-911 solution has over 300 built-in NENA rules to validate emergency service data, allowing you to identify and resolve any non-conformances in just a few clicks.

Find out how we are helping several states to improve the accuracy and validity of their data.

Video case study: The State of Minnesota's transition to NG9-1-1

Find out from Sandi Stroud, 9-1-1 Manager for the State of Minnesota, as she discusses their transitioning journey to Next Generation 9-1-1.

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