Integration programs help put GPS data in proper perspective

Integration programs help put GPS data in proper perspective

While accuracy is important, data from the Global Positioning System is valuable only to the degree it can be integrated with other information, analyzed and used to produce operational results. There are now several hardware-software integration programs available to help achieve this.

Here are a couple of examples.

FirstCall CAD is a computer-aided dispatch system from Logistic Systems Inc. of Missoula, Mont. (www.logistic-systems.com), that is combined with records management software and automatic vehicle location. Running on either a Microsoft Windows NT or an X Window platform, FirstCall integrates police and emergency operations information with geographic information system data, which can reduce response time and increase safety for officers.

FirstCall provides the dispatcher a familiar user interface with pop-up menus and hot buttons in addition to keyboard commands. The caller's location can be immediately pulled up on the screen using either an address, landmark, building name, intersection, mile marker or grid location. Building floor plans are included in the system to assist emergency personnel upon their arrival.

The dispatcher can also pan and zoom around the location to spot other potential hazards in the area, such as chemical storage tanks on the property adjacent to a burning building.

The system also can keep a record of incidents by location. This allows police to identify crime patterns and allocate resources where they will have the greatest effect.

Contact Logistic Systems at 406-728-0921.

EverTrac Inc. (www.evertrac.com) is a joint venture of Computer Associates International Inc. and United Microelectronics Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif. The company, based in Islandia, N.Y., develops systems to track and manage moving assets. Customized applications are developed to provide the required hardware and management software for a particular purpose.

The managers of a departmental vehicle fleet, for example, can automatically track the mileage of all vehicles and notify the drivers to bring them in for preventive maintenance when they reach predetermined levels. This reduces downtime and extends the useful life of the equipment. All vehicles can be tracked and located on a military base, for example, even those out in the field.

For security purposes, items or personnel with receivers can be assigned authorized locations, and the system will set off an alarm if the device goes outside the boundaries.

This can be useful for tracking laptops containing sensitive data, prisoners on work release or personnel movements in a high-security building.

Contact EverTrac at 631-342-2000.

'Drew Robb

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