Public Safety: Page 7 of 11

Wed, 2015-10-28 22:57 -- Jon DeKeles
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Computing resources
Advanced computing capabilities have dramatically changed the public safety playing field as these targets reveal.

Use an open innovation platform. Here’s a prime example of why this target is so important. Like so many other cities today, Glasgow, Scotland holds regular “future hacks” or “hackathons” to encourage software developers to focus their brainpower on apps that can help solve city problems.

According to The Guardian, an event in early 2014 challenged the coders to do something that improved public safety. The winning team presented the idea of helping emergency services find people quicker when they are calling from a mobile phone.

“At the moment, if someone calls 999 their location can be determined using the nearest mobile phone masts,” said Joshua McGhee, a computing science student who worked on the winning design. “But that doesn’t give very detailed information. Instead we’re providing geotagged data which lets services see exactly where someone is, even if the user isn’t sure where they are themselves.”

Have access to a central GIS. Public safety’s focus on location and on being able to act decisively in time-sensitive situations makes GIS critically important. It improves decision-making capabilities, enables efficiency gains through more intelligent scheduling and routing, provides improved accuracy of essential records and boosts resiliency of key assets.

Keep in mind, however, that in public safety and disaster management, users of many different geospatial systems need to communicate, often in an ad hoc fashion. Thus a central GIS and countless other GISs and miscellaneous devices and resources need to implement open standards that make it possible for them to communicate complex geospatial information.

Have access to comprehensive device management. This target is also extremely relevant in public safety, given the number of devices dispatched in the field and the serious problems that could occur if they end up in the wrong hands. A comprehensive device management system helps enforce compliance with city data management, security and privacy policies.