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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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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The Public Safety Communications Challenges We’re Tackling in 2020

Posted on March 4, 2020 by Sherri Griffith Powell

Earlier this year, public safety communications professionals from across the country came together in Austin, TX, to discuss and address the most pressing issues facing the industry at NENA’s Standards & Best Practices Conference. We discussed in a previous blog post why events like this one are critical to our industry’s success in continuing to improve emergency response outcomes. Which challenges are we tackling this year and what’s next for 911?

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2020 Public Safety Industry Outlook

Posted on February 13, 2020 by Morgan Sava

We’re six weeks into a new year and a new decade, and public safety leaders are focused on pursuing more funding, implementing unconventional approaches related to staffing, recruiting and retention, and implementing innovative strategies to modernize their public safety communications technologies and networks—all while keeping them secure from cyberattacks, which are increasing in frequency and complexity.

Recently, we hosted our first webinar of 2020, during which more than 100 public safety professionals shared their top budget priorities and marketing challenges. Upgrading public safety technology, such as legacy computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records-management systems (RMS) was a prominent theme, with more than half of participants citing this as a key priority in their organization for the coming year. Transitioning to Next Generation 911 (NG911) and staffing, retention and organizational planning also were reemerging topics from previous years.

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URL Integration Acquisition Bolsters MCP’s Data-Integration Capabilities

Posted on January 16, 2020 by Kevin Murray

When we launched MCP a little more than a decade ago, we established some pretty aggressive growth goals, especially for a firm that was operating out of a garage and had no clients at the very beginning. Nevertheless, each goal was met with room to spare. Our ability to do so hinged on a single, overarching, inflexible focus on delighting the client.

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