02/22/11 113 W - + 1 - 4 North Carolina Counties to Get Updated Aerial Photos to Aid 911 Response

FireNews finds this News & Observer story about a $12.3 million grant awarded to the city of Durham, which was applied for on behalf all 100 counties in the state, so their emergency communications centers can receive updated high-resolute color aerial photos of its county and surrounding counties. The updated imagery both unifies and replaces the patchwork of images that differ by year of creation, level of public access, and image quality. Durham and Orange counties received their new images last week. Wake and Johnston counties get theirs next month. Sounds super-cool. Can't wait to pay a visit, and see the imagery in action.

A new feature that’s new to me is the updated iMaps page on Wake County real estate page. You can now see aerial imagery from multiple years that dates back to 1981! Just go to the page, click on “aerial”, and select the year.
RescueRanger - 02/22/11 - 10:26

We’ve actually had Pictometry up and running since sometime last year and it’s a good tool when used for the appropriate situations. At this point it’s not something we turn to on every call, but helpful when it’s needed.
RWECC - 02/22/11 - 21:41

And what does Pictometry offer that you can’t see with Google Earth and Streetview?
Driver2310 - 02/23/11 - 09:33

From my experience, Pictometry provides higher resolution than Google Earth and more perspectives than Street View. It also synchs up with the street center lines of the databases used by municipalities for mapping and interfaces with CAD. Because it runs in-house there is no exposure to malware, viruses, etc. that would be had with any Internet based solution. I know some agencies that do use web-based servies such as Mapquest to provide directions to first responders, but typically these apps are not designed to integrate with other public safety applications. Just this week folks in Australia had some significant issues with viruses, so the more we can keep technology behind the firewall the better.
RWECC - 02/23/11 - 18:28

There are enterprise versions of Google Earth and such that would probably work well too. They also come with technical support should there be problems. If there really is a concern of viruses, I don’t think using a whitelist and allowing only the map server would pose any risk at all. I’ll agree that perhaps having to have a constant internet connection may not be the most reliable, but I bet theres a way to increase the map cache size so the majority (if not all) of the county is stored on the computer. In terms of interoperability my guess is that CAD is probably capable of XML style output and with a little work could easily interface with something like Google Earth for the times when the folks at the ECC need it.
Joey - 02/23/11 - 21:24

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