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With GIS Centerlines, the Devil Often is in the Details

Posted on August 12, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

Public safety agencies draw polygons using their geographic information systems (GIS) that define their jurisdictional footprints and the areas in which they provision emergency services. When such polygons abut, generally along jurisdictional borders, they must “snap” to each other; another way of expressing that is to say that the polygon borders must be coincident. If they are not, overlaps and/or gaps can occur—both are problematic from an emergency response perspective. Jurisdictional boundaries most often are in the form of road centerlines, which represent the center of a real-world road.

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Public Safety Needs to Make Itself Heard Regarding the FCC’s 6-GHz Order

Posted on July 22, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

In April, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order that enables unlicensed devices to share 1200 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 6 gigahertz (GHz) band, to meet the growing demands for wireless broadband services.

The FCC cited in its order a Cisco report that projects mobile data traffic will more than double between 2017 and 2022. It also cited an Ericsson report that predicts the average amount of data per month used by a smartphone will increase from 7 gigabytes (GB) in 2018 to 39 GB by 2024. A large portion of this mobile data traffic is expected to be delivered on an unlicensed basis utilizing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and similar protocols. 

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Panel Discussion Offers Myriad Tips for Battling Public Safety’s Ever-Growing Cybersecurity Menace

Posted on July 15, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

The cybersecurity problem that public safety agencies have is very big and it’s not going away—if anything, it’s only going to expand as time passes. That was the consensus of a panel convened for MCP’s inaugural Conference for Advancing Public Safety, which was presented last month.

“The threat’s there—something is going to happen, and we need to be prepared for it,” said Thomas Stutzman, director, Indiana County (Pennsylvania) Emergency Management Agency.

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Whitepaper Cautions Against Using TIGER Data for GIS Data Development

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

Geographic information system (GIS) data is a foundational component in the migration to, and continuing operation of, Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems.

But developing local GIS data so that it aligns with NG911 standards is a laborious and time-consuming process that can take months or years to complete.

Despite this, MCP’s Robert Horne, one of the firm’s GIS gurus, cautions in a recent whitepaper against taking shortcuts in developing GIS data for use in a NG911 environment. Spe cifically, Robert writes that public safety agencies should avoid using the U.S. Census Bureau’s open-source Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data for 911 call-routing purposes. TIGER data is available free of charge, but does not meet basic public safety requirements, nor the established NG911 standards, Robert writes. This is due to incomplete data attribution, poor spatial accuracy, incomplete coverage of the PSAP’s jurisdictional footprint, inaccurate street names and address ranges, and a lagging data update schedule. local GIS data so that it aligns with NG911 standards is a laborious and time-c onsuming process that can take months or years to complete.
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Life at MCP: Meet Mark Athearn

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

One never knows when the proverbial light bulb is going to turn on. For Mark Athearn, who recently was promoted to consulting lead within MCP’s wireless communications services market segment team, it happened when he was in the U.S. Navy, when he was on his hands and knees scrubbing the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

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