NG911 Geospatial Routing: What It Is And Why It Matters - NGA

Posted in All, NGA911 on Nov 18, 2021

NG911 GIS And Geospatial Routing: What It Is And Why It Matters

In the wake of an emergency or natural disaster, data-driven mapping software can mean the difference between saving lives or tragedy. As more government agencies and 911 call centers use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geospatial Routing technology, they can significantly impact responding to the unexpected.

Geospatial Routing, a form of GIS, is changing how emergency personnel and 911 callers communicate with each other. When paired with NG9-1-1 (NG911), this technology revolutionizes how telecommunicators and first responders operate in many areas across the nation.

In this blog, our Next Generation 911 experts at NGA will discuss:

  • What Geospatial Routing is
  • Why it's important
  • How GIS technology helps keep individuals and communities safe

What is NG911 Geospatial Routing?

Geospatial Routing routes 911 calls to the appropriate emergency service provider or PSAP, based on the caller's location, using geographic coordinates and other information obtained by GIS technology.

NG911 Geospatial Routing is location-based, meaning it uses data tied to and portrayed on a computerized map.

Understanding The Importance of GIS And Geospatial Routing

The purpose of public safety is to ensure that the public and their communities are safe.

This purpose drives decisions to improve emergency response by implementing systems and technologies designed to help 911 professionals better understand the emergency environment and influencing factors. Many elements can affect the response to unexpected situations and emergency events.

Having access to the latest GIS technology means that 911 personnel can be better prepared to help the public during:

  • Industrial Accidents
  • Criminal Events
  • Hostage Situations
  • Natural Disasters (Wildfires, Earthquakes, Floods, etc.)

With NG911 Geospatial Routing, the system automatically evaluates the call when an individual calls 911 on a cell phone or land-based line. It then routes it to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), no matter the nature or extent of the situation.

Emergency dispatchers use GIS technology to classify the call and prioritize the need for response before sending help. Responses rely on computerized and sophisticated systems like Next Generation 911 GIS to manage large amounts of data.

This data includes the exact location of the caller, dispatched resources, and 911 call history records.

What Can Public Safety Personnel Do with GIS And Geospatial Routing?

Geographic Information Systems integrated with Next Generation 911 solutions provide more data and capabilities than just displaying an accident on a dispatch monitor

NG911 systems that include a GIS platform can provide essential information to the telecommunicator, first responder, and incident commander, all of whom can access life-saving information from multiple sources.

Some examples of how GIS technology is used include:

PSAPs and Emergency Call Centers (ECCs) providing Geospatial Call Routing, address location validation, resource allocation, and analysis.

Government Agencies identifying streets, boundaries, and tax information

Law Enforcement Agencies managing crime analysis, geographic patrol areas, infrastructure protection, and call routing.