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GIS Assessment Project

To understand how geographic information systems are functioning today in the 911 community, a recently-awarded contract has initiated a new project to determine how to implement a nationwide GIS data sharing system. These findings will be necessary in establishing the Next Generation 911 (NG911) system that is fully interconnected and interoperable across the country.

What’s Happening Now

Successful implementation of NG911 relies heavily on highly accurate, robust GIS data that is constantly maintained to NG911 standards and freely shared locally, regionally and nationally; currently there is not a universal GIS-sharing system in place for 911 centers in the U.S. While some states have made the transition to NG911, many have not. Once every 911 center has the capability to share local GIS data, a universal NG911 system can be implemented, and the GIS data will help inform evidence-based practices in telecommunication. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2019 reports, National NG911 Roadmap and Strategic Plan for 911 Data and Information Sharing, highlighted the need to develop uniform standards and best practices for data-sharing.

This GIS effort will undertake three objectives:

  1. Identify current GIS status: Many technical issues exist in communities that have implemented NG911. Problems with developing, sharing, and storing GIS data among 911 centers act as barriers to use NG911 efficiently and effectively. These barriers will be addressed to ease 911 centers’ transitions to NG911.

  2. Assessment of necessary partner agencies, entities and issues: Matters of financial, administrative, operational, and governance will be evaluated to identify the budget, resources, and organizations required to address challenges in current systems.

  3. Metrics and strategies: The initiative will develop strategies to address obstacles identified through the assessment phase. Success will be measured by metrics developed during the execution of the first two objectives.

Current Actions in Progress

A group of GIS stakeholders met in early February to discuss current challenges to sharing GIS data to meet the needs of NG911. These stakeholders represented subject matter experts from across the country—GIS solution providers, GIS industry associations and emergency communication centers (ECCs), also known as public safety answering point (PSAP) professionals. Individuals wishing to provide input for or comments on the GIS Technology or Required Entities reports should reach out to the appropriate group from this list.

The Program will release several reports from this effort in 2022 through 911.gov:

  • Current Status of GIS Technologies supporting 911

  • Current Status of Required Entities for 911 GIS

  • Resources, Budget and Partnerships

  • Scientific Research Requirements and Metrics

  • The NHTSA 911 Program GIS Strategic Plan

Although the information gathering participant list has been finalized for this effort, we encourage the stakeholder community to review the reports and provide feedback to the 911 Program.

Last Updated: 06/08/2022