MCP Insights

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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How to Keep GIS Institutional Knowledge From Walking Out the Door

Posted on May 19, 2020 by Robert Horne

Every once in a while, the geographic information system (GIS) professional working for one of our clients retires, which is great for the pro—and equally bad for the client.

GIS has been important in the public safety community for a couple of decades now. The data generated by such systems is leveraged by computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system mapping applications to pinpoint the location of 911 callers on telecommunicator screen displays. In the Next Generation 911 (NG911) environment, to which many emergency communications centers (ECCs) are migrating, GIS-generated geospatial data will replace the legacy automatic location identification (ALI) and master street address guide (MSAG) databases to locate emergency callers. The result will be fewer misdirected 911 calls and timelier dispatching of the appropriate emergency response. When lives are on the line and every second counts, this is a good thing.

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One Way To Keep Public Safety Technology Procurements from Derailing

Posted on May 5, 2020 by Glenn McLemee

Emergency communications centers need a lot of gear. They need wireless communications systems to communicate with first responders in the field. They need call-handling systems to process 911 calls. They need computer-aided dispatch systems, as well as mapping and automatic vehicle location applications, to dispatch the appropriate emergency response. And those are just the backbone systems. The ECC technology ecosystem that enables effective emergency response is quite expansive.

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Why COOP/DR Plans Need to Consider GIS Data Maintenance

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Robert Horne

A couple of weeks ago, MCP’s Richard Gaston posted about why it is critically important for every public-safety agency, regardless of size and resources, to have continuity-of-operations plans (COOP) and disaster-recovery (DR) plans in place. This post addresses an element that is lacking in many such plans, a gap that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus—geographic information system (GIS) data maintenance.

For decades, location of 911 callers was determined solely by querying the master street address guide (MSAG) and automatic location identification (ALI) tabular databases. About a quarter century ago, GIS-generated data entered the picture—quite literally—as computer-aided dispatch (GIS) system mapping applications began to leverage it to depict 911-caller locations on the map display on telecommunicators’ screens. In the Next Generation 911 (NG911) environment, GIS data will play an even bigger role, because geospatial data will replace MSAG and ALI data as the primary means of locating 911 callers.

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Public Safety Cybersecurity Threat Advisory: Critical VMware Bug

Posted on April 16, 2020 by Mike Beagles

As part of our effort to inform our clients about potential and serious cybersecurity issues, MCP provides advisories about vulnerabilities and exploits that could threaten the operations of their public safety communications networks. Sign up to receive these advisories in your inbox as soon as they are released.

This week, there is a new critical alert that requires the public safety community’s immediate attention.

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