Spring 2009

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Volunteer Opportunities
Scholarship Winners

Drive to Excellence Update
USNG in Minnesota
Mn/DOT GIS Portal
LCC-GIS and Redistricting

Governor's Council
CTU and USNG standards out for review
Next Generation 9-1-1

Services Forum Results
Address Point Synchronization

Tracking Utility Trucks
Watershed E. coli Study

Mapping Floods
Improvng Flood Maps
Height Modernization

URISA Skills Survey
MHS Map Exhibit

Randy Johnson, ESRI GIS Hero

Other Places
Web 2.0 for Local Government
Economics and Place



The Role of GIS in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1)
By Gordon Chinander, Metropolitan Emergency Services Board, and Jackie Mines, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Nation's current 9-1-1 system is designed around telephone technology and cannot handle the text, data, images and video that are increasingly common in personal communications and critical to future transportation safety and mobility advances. The Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) initiative will establish the foundation for public emergency communications services in a wireless mobile society – GIS is fully integrated and required for NG 9-1-1.
NG 9-1-1 in Minnesota
The NG9-1-1 Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure being planned by the State of Minnesota 9-1-1 Program will provide the capability for new technologies such as text messaging and video to interface with the 9-1-1 network. Minnesota’s goal, as defined by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) is to provide “EMERGENCY HELP, Anytime, Anywhere, Any device ™.” IP technology is quickly dominating North America and implementing NG 9-1-1 will allow the ability to dispatch from and transfer to a public safety entity almost anywhere in the world.
How Does GIS Fit In?
The demands and challenges of the Next Generation 9-1-1 require a new and innovative approach, and GIS is a critical part of the solution. GIS will drive the creation and maintenance of the Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) by creating a Graphic/Spatial MSAG. All database changes will originate from GIS data through a graphical user interface (GUI) and will then pass digitally to the 9-1-1 MSAG, CAD, and GIS databases.
This new NG9-1-1 MSAG/GIS data model automates the process, from creation or update of an address or geographic feature to disseminating the revised data into the relevant CAD, MSAG and GIS databases. This methodology has proven to reduce the time and resources needed to maintain the combined datasets, provide quicker updates, and result in fewer errors since:
  • GIS becomes one of the central data stores
  • GIS does not require a separate Automatic Location Information (ALI) feed into the PSAP CPE equipment
    • Caller location data comes with the 9-1-1 call
    • Responder information comes with the 9-1-1 call as polygons with associated contact data
    • Emergency Service Zones (ESZ), police beats, response areas, floor plans, images, etc. come with the 9-1-1 call
    • GIS allows complete integration into 9-1-1 call taking, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, and emergency services dispatch and response
For NG9-1-1 to become efficient, it will be important to have correct data, updated data, and data that is seamless across each region of the state, the nation, and internationally. It is critical for the state, the counties and the emergency responders to form a partnership with each other to create the most accurate GIS data.
For more information, go to the Minnesota Statewide 9-1-1 Program website and click on GIS Information.
New NG 9-1-1 Workgroup
Recognizing the importance of these issues, the Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information has formed a new NG 9-1-1 Workgroup. Its mission is to focus on developmental issues related to deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1 systems in Minnesota, and to work to provide GIS training, documentation, guidance and data standardization in support of the state’s 9-1-1 community.
If you are interested in joining the workgroup where we will be helping to educate other 9-1-1 agencies about NG 9-1-1 and to promote the data standards that have been developed nationwide, please visit the committee webpage and read our workplan or contact: