City emergency support improved with Nearmap imagery

September 19, 2018  - By 1 Comments
Nearmap aerial imagery in ArcMap. (Screenshot: Nearmap)

Nearmap aerial imagery in ArcMap. (Screenshot: Nearmap)

The Shelby County, Tennessee, Emergency Communications District has implemented Nearmap high-resolution aerial imagery to geocode and plot new addresses and developments into its 911 mapping systems.

The mapping systems help fire and rescue, emergency medical services and law enforcement get instant access to updated maps needed to get to the right locations as soon as possible.

The Emergency Communications District is responsible for establishing local emergency telephone service, providing the network call-handling equipment, and updating the geographic information systems (GIS) data for each Public Safety Answering Point within Shelby County.

Nearmap provides frequently updated, high-quality aerial captures to ensure that the district’s GIS data, geocoding and the 911 mapping systems are up to date, providing public safety and law enforcement the most accurate information, the company said.

Benefits of Nearmap aerial imagery for the Emergency Communications District include:

    • The imagery is delivered through the cloud as a subscription service, making it accessible to all team members via mobile and desktop.
    • Nearmap imagery is taken at least twice a year, both leaf-on and leaf-off to provide different views of locations in different seasons.
    • Aerial captures integrate directly into Esri ArcMap, ArcPro and ArcGIS Online applications, so GIS information can overlay directly onto the high-resolution imagery.

Before Nearmap, Shelby County’s aerial image process required a contracted flight to photograph the county areas. Because of the high cost of capturing those images, the county purchased images once every two years, after pooling resources from various county entities.

“With our old aerial imagery provider, there were issues with mosaicking separate images together, and since the imagery was taken every two years, many rural and unincorporated areas were out of date,” said Timothy Zimmer, GIS administrator for Shelby County’s Emergency Communications District.

With out of date images, the county had to develop alternate methods to locate addresses for the 911 systems. Now, the combined impact of data services, base maps, Nearmap imagery and third-party data are improving all aspects of public safety, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, Nearmap said. Even other agencies are using the district’s imagery and GIS data.

“There’s a certain context and currency you can get from Nearmap imagery that you simply can’t get from any other imagery products,” Zimmer said. “Other agencies, such as the County Clerk and the Utility Company, are using our addressing data because Nearmap has helped enable us to be much more current.”

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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