Location intelligence: The next trend in mapping technology

     As the challenges facing public safety communications and emergency response professionals continue to grow, location intelligence technology empowers public safety professionals with the data and tools to make more informed decisions...

     The Geographic Analysis Report was shared during a briefing with the Sex Crimes Unit investigators and tactical teams from two police divisions working on the case. By eliminating the peripheral information and processing the critical information in multiple formats, San Pedro and the geographic profiling analysis team picked up on common trends and patterns that may not have stood out using traditional tabular analysis.

     Armed with the predictive crime analysis maps, the police strategically set up in the locations where the suspect would likely return. Within 33 minutes of targeting the focus areas, the suspicious van appeared and the suspect was arrested.

     The Toronto police have been using GIS solutions since the early 1990s to plot crime locations for preventative analysis. Two years ago, the agency began to leverage location intelligence methodologies. Using location intelligence the Toronto Police Service can use calls for service and criminal incident data to strategically make better decisions on where to deploy resources and ultimately map out a criminal's next move.

Improving emergency preparedness
     The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals' Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health is responsible for monitoring and developing access to health care services throughout Louisiana. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, the state's population dramatically shifted from the region, raising numerous questions regarding health care services and resources.

     Realizing that location intelligence technology could enable the bureau to visually assess and analyze the status of the department's employees, health care facilities and providers, the organization applied location intelligence technology to survey and visually represent health care data. The bureau also was tasked with comparing health care facilities with the new altered populations.

     The organization generated maps identifying where health care employees had relocated to, as well as where they moved from, helping to administer aid where residents needed it most. The maps illustrated which facilities were functional, partially functional or destroyed. Working side by side with emergency response teams, the bureau tackled additional projects, such as mapping New Orleans flood zones by neighborhood and overlaying this information with existing health care facilities.

     These real-life examples are situations where non-GIS trained people are able to take advantage of location intelligence when it counts most. These organizations have adopted geographic capabilities and strategically implemented predictive mapping to heighten their work with location intelligence solutions.

     With the ability to package software, data and expert services, public sector organizations can enhance their public safety and emergency response tactics. This is the essence of implementing location intelligence to play a crucial role in disaster and emergency management.

Greg Donahue is senior marketing manager at Pitney Bowes MapInfo. Donahue is responsible for helping public sector organizations best utilize technology to solve problems and become more responsive. He has more than 10 years of experience working with local government entities including public safety, police and fire organizations.

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