August 26, 2022

GIS Data Assessment – Laying a Foundation for Success

Data about our location is everywhere.  We live in a world of data When answering a 9-1-1 call, access to accurate and uptodate GIS data is critical because seconds count.      

How accurate is the public safety GIS data in your communityDoes your call taker, dispatcher, and first responder have the necessary data during those critical seconds?  These are important questions GIS and 9-1-1 teams need to answer.  As public safety is transitioning to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)quality Public Safety Grade GIS data is essential to ensure 9-1-1 calls route to the correct Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and responders arrive at the correct location.  To determine if your GIS data is up to this task, a GIS data assessment is the common approach to providing the answers that you need to enhance your current 9-1-1 system and prepare for NG9-1-1.    

Where to Start

A GIS data assessment is the first step to determine if your data meets your community’s needs.  It involves more than just analyzing GISMaster Street Address Guide (MSAG), or Automatic Location Identification (ALI) databases.  Education and development of local 9-1-1 data processes and maintenance workflows also play an integral role in the assessment process.  Collaboration between your GIS and 9-1-1 professionals is more critical than ever before, as these teams work together to meet the GIS data quality needs of their 9-1-1 systems.  Many agencies find advantages to having an outside assessment completed to streamline this process while being sensitive to interdepartmental goals.  Common requirements of a GIS data assessment include: 

  • Educating stakeholders

    All public safety and GIS personnel involved will need to exercise collaboration, strong communication, and working knowledge of public safety 9-1-1 needs as well as NG9-1-1 standards and requirements to successfully prepare the GIS data.

  • Documenting Processes

    Documenting local GIS Data Management practices in support of 9-1-1 systems is critical to ensure continuity of operations. This includes determining and documenting if your agency follows the NENA NG9-1-1 GIS Data Model, or if a State or local GIS standard exists that includes and expands upon NENA’s data model foundation. This is key for achieving interoperability in NG9-1-1.

  • GIS data review and analysis

    The analysis process and results will become the starting point for developing a plan for updating GIS data to be used for public safety today as well as your NG9-1-1 system success. The assessment process should also open stakeholder dialog about future data and system maintenance and management.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to the accuracy of GIS data for public safety, every second counts.     


Begin your journey of achieving Public Safety Grade GIS data through a GIS data assessment and harness the infinite power of your Public Safety Location Intelligence®.  With the largest team of public safety focused GIS specialists in the nation, GeoComm is ready to help you meet and exceed all your requirements for assessing GIS data. 


Assess, Improve, and Maintain Process

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