Dover, Del., rolls out mobile GIS
Fire and public safety officials in Dover, Del., now have access to a mobile geographic information system (GIS) through GPS-enabled laptops. The application is helping the city enforce ordinances, monitor events and route first responders to emergencies.
Dover tested the application, which uses ArcPad software by Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI, during a NASCAR race in September. The fire chief proposed the idea of using mobile GIS to help manage the event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees, many of whom camp near the race track. First responders often had trouble locating incidents within the temporary campgrounds where street signs and other identifiers are absent.
With the mapping software loaded on laptops, public safety officials could view streets, parking areas and vendor locations, which helped with code enforcement. They also could see their current locations and determine how to navigate through the crowds to respond to any emergencies. Data captured in the field was uploaded into the central GIS database and distributed to officials daily.
Now, the application is available for all city field duties that require remote data capture, management and access. Future developments may allow field workers to feed data back to a server instantly so office staff can view near real time information.