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Mapping App Can Provide Detailed Scene Information for First Responders

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: November/December 2015 Pages: 13-15
Michele Coppola
Date Published
December 2015
3 pages
This article describes the features of an app for first responders that provides important information on the location of an emergency scene prior to entering it.

Called the Torrance UHS mapping app because it was developed by a programmer with the Torrance (California) Police Department, it stores a list of website URLs for schools, cities, businesses, and other locations that want to share detailed information with first responders. Such information includes floor plans, diagrams, videos, and whether dangerous chemicals are present at the location. One advantage of the app is decentralization, since data will not be stored on one central server. Any participating public or private organization could provide data on its own servers and house it there. This provides more flexibility than housing all data on one central server managed by an administrator. The app has buttons for maps, settings, and help. When the map button is pushed, a map appears with pushpins that show the various locations for which information has been added. The availability of detailed location information can improve first-responder safety and facilitate field operations. Responders can view maps and photos before arriving at a scene or entering a building. This is critical information for tactical decisions prior to entering the scene.