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10 Posts authored by: RUmali-esristaff Employee

By Mike King

Director, Emergency Communications Solutions – Esri


Last week I had the opportunity to provide a keynote address at the annual conference of one of our computer-aided dispatch partners. My remarks centered on leveraging geographic information system (GIS) technology in a presentation titled "The Art of the Possible—GIS for PSAPs."


I focused my comments on four important, and often disregarded, topics in the 911 industry: digital information sharing, migrating GIS data from 2D to 3D, embracing out-of-the-box web applications, and enhancing business intelligence tools with GIS, specifically focusing on Insights for ArcGIS.



Digital Information Sharing
Agencies around the world are frustrated with the antiquated analog approach of uploading address database information, service areas, and other CAD foundational information on a periodic basis. They recognize that the moment the data is uploaded, it is outdated.

Forward-thinking agencies are embracing digital transformation, allowing end users to take advantage of the most up-to-date information the moment it becomes authoritative. This effort requires agencies to use modern technologies like ArcGIS Hub or Portal for ArcGIS. A hub or portal allows agencies to manage and share geospatial data quickly and securely to those with a need to know.

ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish initiatives and goals. Organizations of any type and any size can maximize engagement, communication, collaboration, and data sharing using the ArcGIS Hub initiative-based approach.

With ArcGIS Hub
, organizations can leverage their existing data and technology to work together with internal and external stakeholders while tracking progress, improving outcomes, and creating vibrant communities.  Use Hub to share data, create unlimited websites, organize your work around initiatives, enable collaboration, and inspire action.


Migrating Your 2D GIS Data to 3D
Soon, public safety answering point (PSAP) personnel and first responders will begin receiving z-axis location information (elevation) in the packet of 911 data received in the PSAP. As this information becomes available, agencies will need to view this information on 3D maps to better understand and respond.


The FCC ruling on location accuracy and indoor routing will soon become a reality across America, and it is incumbent upon PSAPs to be able to appropriately respond to the data. This will require significant effort on the part of private and public entities to fully embrace and prepare for the eventuality. With the tools that help you build a 3D infrastructure, your agency can also leverage the analytic functions of 3D, including solutions like the line of sight capabilities and building height and distance measurements.


Embracing Out-of-the-Box Web Applications
Delivering comprehensive GIS capabilities to the field is possible with web applications and native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. Dashboards, field collection tools, workforce assignment, and tracking are all within reach with Esri's apps for field operations, a collection of integrated, location-based apps that work wherever you do. That means you will have functioning and integrated maps on your desktop, on your mobile devices, or in your browser. It has been proven effective in disconnected environments and on all broadband networks, including the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).



Using field apps improves coordination, achieves operational efficiencies, and helps you gain insight. Your authoritative data deserves a solution as specialized as the insight it provides. ArcGIS ensures that your teams in the field or in the command center are using the same data to reduce errors, boost productivity, increase operational understanding, and save money.


Enhance Business Intelligence Tools with ArcGIS Insights
I have watched closely as agencies around the world grapple with visualizing and understanding data. ArcGIS Insights offers a data analytics workbench where you can explore spatial and nonspatial data in an easy-to-use drag-and-drop environment. You don't need to be an expert in data or geographic information systems. You simply access the data and begin to explore

and solve spatial problems. You'll answer questions you didn't know you needed to ask and quickly deliver powerful results.


I'm excited to announce that ArcGIS Insights is now available in beta for Windows and macOS! This means you can work connected or disconnected, right from your desktop. Check it out at ArcGIS Insights.



If you’d like to learn more, downoad our eBook, “5 Ways GIS Empowers Next Generation 911,” or email me and start a dialogue.


All the best, Mike  


By Mike King, Director of Emergency Communications – Esri

Twitter @printcop


In July of this year, public safety professionals from around the world descended on San Diego, California to attend Esri’s 4-day National Security and Public Safety Summit. Over 700 commanders and staff came together to share the challenges and successes they’ve had while protecting over the past year.
As the conference began, I stood in awe, hand over heart, as the flag of the United States was presented. I listened intently as our national anthem was powerfully sung.  I felt a sense of gratitude at the reverence displayed by our many international colleagues and government leaders in attendance.
During a “moment of silence” for those who had lost their lives in the line of duty last year, my mind raced back to personal friends who died in the line of duty. Their deaths and the accompanying heartache felt by comrades and loved ones suddenly raced back and I found myself stirred with deep emotion. I could see the faces of many of the attendees, and they too seemed to be humbly honoring those great heroes from around the world.
Once the summit was underway, I saw police officers, firefighters and emergency managers sitting side-by-side, interacting with each other, both during and in-between sessions. Their common mission of public protection powerfully eliminated preconceived misconceptions and personal biases. Together, they were learning from each other, embracing commonalities and solving problems.
I marveled at the great work being done globally, like the work of the Lebanese Red Cross who adopted a new GIS strategy to improve ambulance response times.  These efforts are now saving lives and our colleagues in Lebanon are leveraging that investment to improve their mobile web applications for improved data collection and information sharing.

Lebanese RedCross at Esri's National Security and Public Safety Summit
The summit provided examples of real-world, national security and public safety challenges, like those shared by CEO Brian Fontes of NENA, the National Emergency Number Association. Fontes shared NENA’s newly created national PSAP Registry portal, designed to spatially show all public safety answering points (command & control centers). The Registry will support many of the next generation call-taking efforts.


CEO Brian Fontes of NENA at Esri's National Security and Public Safety Summit

Other presentations included how U.S. Customs and Border Protection is saving lives through the Missing Migrant Program. This program was designed to save lives along the 4,200 square miles of the Rio Grande Valley and evidence shows that it’s working. 



US Border Patrol


Richard Reed of the FirstNet Authority shared how GIS is used in the rollout of the
first voice and data broadband network dedicated to first-responders and Colonel Volker Kozok showed how the German Armed Forces are using GIS to combat hybrid warfare.
German Armed Forces

At one point, I found myself smiling as I reflected on what I was witnessing. It was a true “coming together” of several life-saving disciplines and it included all of the fun-loving banter that exists between first-responders.

My personal example goes like this (and sounds like a broken record) as several old firefighter friends approached me with the same humor I’ve heard for 40 years, saying, “Hey King, if you could have scored two more points on your public safety exam, you could have been a fireman too!”  Not to be outdone, and in true form to my law enforcement brotherhood, I simply responded with some of the many reasons why law enforcement is a more noble career, and why we always won the town celebration tug-o’-wars – not just by brawn… but also our brilliance!


Mike King and John Beck at Esri's National Security and Public Safety Summit
The National Security and Public Safety Summit offered everyone in attendance with a unique balance between visionary leader keynotes, forward-thinking presentations and networking opportunities where attendees could learn about the rapid advances that are occurring globally, including how GIS is influencing and empowering first-responders. Let's continue the conversation in this GeoNet discussion, h
ow will you work to build resilience and collaborate in the new normal?

We want to thank our generous sponsors of the summit which include our gold sponsors: GeoComm, Juvare, Microsoft, and RapidDeploy; and our silver sponsors: BCS, FirstNet, HERE Technologies, and IBM.  If you missed this year’s summit, we will release the proceedings in the coming weeks. Please plan to join us next year at the National Security and Public Safety Summit on July 11-14, 2020 in San Diego. Those registered can also attend the first two days of the Esri International User Conference where more than 19,000 professionals from around the world come together. 



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Next Generation 911, A Long-Distance Sprint 


By Mike King, Global Emergency Call Taking and Dispatch/FirstNet Industry Manager, Esri  

In 1980, a few days after graduating from the police academy, I responded to the homicide of a corrections officer named Bryan Pickett.[1] (Bryan graduated from my high school a year before me.) The only address information the 911 caller provided was, " . . .in Sullivan's Hollow." 



Pickett was found lying in the middle of the road with a gunshot wound to the head—his vehicle was still running. 


Then (40 years ago), we relied on the Polk Directory[2] for address information, but it rarely had place-names or aliases to help. If you were unfamiliar with your surroundings, finding the location became much more challenging.  


Pickett's killer was never officially identified or charged, and I often think about him, wondering if better location information could have reduced the time it took to get first responders to the scene. He probably wouldn't have survived the shooting, but his assailant might have been apprehended.


Location image: This 1980 image is courtesy of the Utah AGRC Open Data Portal. Using ArcGIS, the image was geolocated on a topographic map, and a swipe map of 2018 imagery, courtesy of Nearmap, was added. 



Scan the QR Code to view a web application on your mobile device.






[1] UTAP Cold Case image courtesy of the Utah Attorney General's Office.

[2] Weber County Polk Directory image, Digital Collections, Stewart Library, Weber State University.




After my law enforcement career, I was fortunate to join the Esri public safety team, a group of retired police, fire, emergency management, and national security commanders who maintain their passion for ensuring public safety. My focus has evolved to spending more time with the members of the emergency call-taking industry—the initiators of all public safety response.


As I have participated in discussions around the world on the Next Generation 911 (NG911) initiative, I marvel at how far we've come and how much still needs to be done. Migrating the antiquated analog systems of the past to powerful digital solutions that consume large amounts of data in real time is a daunting task, but it is a task worth doing. Providing first responders with authoritative address data they can follow and trust is paramount.


The promise of improved 911 caller location has been the focus of public safety telecommunicators, national trade organizations, and federal oversight agencies for a long time. Each collaborative effort brings increasing hope that we are making things better. In some arenas, the vision of "what could be" has now become the reality of "what is."


At Esri, we're working tirelessly to help our CAD/911 partners embrace geographic information system (GIS) capabilities that offer best practice architecture for address database creation and management. We're guiding agencies around the world as they migrate their 2D geographic data to 3D, preparatory to z-axis information coming to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) center. Our easy-to-configure web applications are used globally, including on the FirstNet network.


Now, there's a game-changing way to access accurate smartphone device location and additional emergency data from Apple, Uber, other apps, and connected devices. Please join the experts from Esri, RapidSOS, and GeoComm as they discuss the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse.  You can register here.


Just before my retirement, I read a quote by Theodore Roosevelt in the office of an assistant chief of police. Recently, I heard it referenced during the funeral of Senator John McCain. I think it fittingly applies to those of you who are trying to bring NG911 to fruition. I'll close with an excerpt from Roosevelt's speech, Citizenship in a Republic.[1]


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."


Learn more about Esri's efforts in emergency call taking at 


Register for the NG911 device location webinar Accessing Location Information from Smartphone Devices.


Download the eBook on 5 Ways GIS Empowers Next Generation 911. 


[1] Citizenship in a Republic,

Around the world, emergency dispatch centers are grappling with outdated analog systems that are not capable of handling today’s complex mobile technology. Advances in text messaging, video, and sensor data now play important roles in information sharing. Migrating existing systems to digital solutions will provide more accurate location data and improve the transfer of critical information to PSAPs and those who are assigned as first responders. Download the 5 Ways GIS Empowers Next Generation 911 to learn how location intelligence can modernize your computer-aided dispatch. 

Download this eBook to Learn:

  • How to ensure first responders arrive at the right location
  • How you can consume real-time data feeds 
  • How to provide location awareness and indoor routing 
  • How to rout emergency calls to the correct PSAP 
  • How you can provide field interaction and reliability 



Download the Free Esri CAD eBook: CAD eBook 

By Mike King, Global Public Safety Manager for 911 and FirstNet


Recently, the National Association of Counties (NACo) published recommendations to county officials regarding FirstNet, the First Responder Network Authority.  The council was sound. Here is some additional information that could help you accomplish your goal of having proven solutions that work in the FirstNet environment.


Esri has been actively involved with FirstNet for a number of years, providing thought-leadership about GIS and the value, location intelligence brings to first-responders. In two live incidents in the past 4-weeks, Esri technology has been proven to work with FirstNet to enable mobile devices on both a fixed-broadband network and also in a portably deployed network.


As a license holder of Esri technology, you have a host of free solutions at your fingertips and they can be used with your secure data inside the FirstNet network, on any device, at any time.


Firefighters and Emergency Rescue teams can benefit from easy to configure solutions like; “The Fire Run Book” map which is used by fire personnel to author maps that include a book cover, map pages, and street index, suitable for printing. These map documents can be used to create a complete fire run book for individual stations or a fire district. We’ve already built solutions for Fire Hydrant Inspection, Pre-Incident Plan Development, AED Inventory and many more.



Law Enforcement Agencies can benefit from solutions like; “Develop Tactical Plans” which provides command staff with easy to configure tactical operations plans for active shooters, barricaded gunmen or other high-risk operations. There are also solutions built for Field Interview collection, Reducing Traffic Fatalities, Opioid Events, Neighborhood Crime Reporting, Public Safety Incident Maps, Crime Analysis and more.


Emergency Management personnel can lean upon Esri for solutions like a “Community Impact Dashboard” that can be used to present aggregated information.  By aggregating community impact reports, organizations can better understand how resilience can be improved, and which areas are affected. This configuration of Operations Dashboard can be deployed by emergency management organizations and used by members of the organization through a browser or as a desktop application.  Some additional solutions are Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Public Information applications.



There are solutions for PSAPs (emergency dispatch), fusion and intelligence centers and many more public safety responsibilities. Because these solutions are built with ArcGIS, the capabilities extend to other county departments like health, transportation, surveyor and many others, organizations that are important to FirstNet during a major incident.


Esri’s Living Atlas of the World provides the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe, including your communities. It includes maps, apps, and data layers to support your work. You can explore Esri’s Solutions at:


Learn more by visiting our public safety pages at: or email Mike at:

By Mike King, Global Emergency Call Taking and Dispatch/FirstNet Industry Manager, Esri



Public safety officials around the world benefited from the collective attention and expertise of nearly 200 who gathered in San Francisco, California, on March 23 and 24, 2018, for the FirstNet Public Safety Hackathon. The event, created by FirstNet (and supported by AT&T), was sponsored by Esri, IBM, and Samsung. Each sponsor took part in providing developer software and technology along with skilled advisers, who offered one-on-one mentoring and technical assistance throughout the two-day event.


Hours before the event began, FirstNet revealed its application challenges to the group and stated that each challenge was created through a series of public safety discussions that had been held across the country. The use cases came from police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel, who had focused on voice and data communications during major, multijurisdictional events. Esri was invited to sponsor the event because location information is a common element of every mobile technology-based solution. Given Esri's proven history as the maker of the GIS technology preferred by developers and end users, inviting Esri to this event simply made good sense.


Developers from around the world listened to instruction by AT&T, Esri, IBM, and Samsung staff during the inaugural FirstNet Public Safety Hackathon, held at Covo in San Francisco, California, in March 2018.



Specifically, law enforcement attendees had requested "solutions that collect and synthesize data from disparate sources," with a goal of having location intelligence that leads to actionable decision-making. Firefighters had said they wanted tools that would assist them in creating preplans as well as provide real-time asset management, building schematics, and in-vehicle routing. The firefighters also mentioned the need for real-time information about call status, emerging risks, and sensor data like traffic reports and weather conditions. Emergency medical responders had echoed the concerns of police and fire staff but added the need for solutions that "collect situationally relevant patient information for effective triaging [patients] and medical response" and provide real-time information for proper delivery of customized care, all while maintaining efficient records management for easy tracking and reporting. And all had agreed that any solution developed must be easy to deploy and use.


Throughout the night and into the following day, the developers consumed large volumes of caffeine and a never-ending pile of food and treats, taking catnaps whenever possible.


As the two-day marathon came to a close, the developers gathered to share their creative works and be judged. Those participating in the event challenged the status quo of public safety workflows and even cutting-edge technology.


The resultant applications showed promise, as evident by an application (shown) that was designed to locate and track firefighters in buildings, using 3D capabilities in ArcGIS. Other applications focused on citizen interaction with public safety staff as well as first-responder communication with dispatch, command, and control centers and emergency rooms.



With persistence, refinement, and the right amount of exposure, some of these apps could be in the quiver of tools used by frontline public servants in the future.   


With cash awards totaling $28,000, interest, energy. and enthusiasm remained high throughout the 30-hour event.


Esri recognized team S-Rescue (Michelle S. Lee, Wei-Ting Yap, Anirudh Nair, and Yon Zheg Xi) with an award for the best use of ArcGIS technology. Their application demonstrated how 911 callers ("victims") or emergency personnel can be located inside buildings. They showed a 3D floor plan with victims and first responders as points on the map (color coded). In order to show updated locations and movement, the team took advantage of ArcGIS Online and configured a web scene, configuring it with ArcGIS API for JavaScript.



Would you like to learn more? Email Mike King at or click one of these links:
Esri Developer Tools
Esri Startup Partner Program
Esri Public Safety Solutions
FirstNet Developer Ecosystem

By Mike King, Esri Public Safety Team


Last week, 9-1-1 professionals from across America met in Washington, DC, for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 9-1-1 Goes to Washington event. This annual event brought together hundreds of 9-1-1 professionals, who spent much of the week discussing the important challenges faced by the roughly 6,100 emergency call centers across the country. These centers are staffed by professional telecommunicators who prioritize and assign the 240 million calls for help each year.



The event rang the celebratory anniversary bell for the first 9-1-1 call, made 50 years ago. The conference also brought national attention to the need for modernization of the 9-1-1 system, highlighted in an informative article in the Washington Post.


The NENA conference provided a stage for a number of outstanding presentations from industry leaders, including Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Ajit Pai and FCC Public Security and Homeland Security Bureau chief Lisa Fowlkes. Laurie Flaherty, the coordinator of the National 911 Program, provided a comprehensive overview of data-gathering efforts and insight into the pending next generation 911 (NG911) cost study. Other high-interest topics included device-based hybrid location determination, the reclassification of telecommunicators, and legislative activities by lawmakers.


In tandem with this event, at the annual NG9-1-1 Institute Technology Showcase in the Rayburn congressional office building, government 9-1-1 leaders and experts met with members of Congress and their staff to spotlight and advocate for the emergency call-taking industry.


A number of evening events were held to recognize individuals who exhibited outstanding leadership or actions deemed exemplary in emergency response. The 9-1-1 Heroes event included presentations from the 9-1-1 community, members of Congress, and executive branch leaders.


Esri congratulates the 9-1-1 community on 50 years of providing dedicated service to those in need. Esri joins them in pledging continued research and investment in improving location services. You can learn more about Esri's efforts in improving address database management, 3D mapping and analysis, real-time analytics in the dispatch center, and mobile capabilities and dashboards at




By John Beck, Esri Global Law Enforcement Industry Manager 



In case you missed it, December saw the release of two new law enforcement solutions to help your agency share information with the public and enable community members to create their own crime reports.


As with all our ArcGIS solutions, these are free to download and will help you enhance public awareness about crime and criminal activity in people's neighborhoods, district, or community.

Public Crime Map

The first application creates a public crime map that can be used by citizens to view recent crime activity in and around a given location.



This solution is a configuration of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and can be used to search for crime by type, date, or time of incident. This application can help people understand crime patterns in the community, and it provides a proactive way to engage the public in your agency's overall crime reduction strategies.


You can create a public crime map with either ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro and an ArcGIS Online subscription. To deploy the Public Crime Map app using the ArcGIS Solutions Deployment tool, you will need ArcGIS Pro 1.3 or later. This tool will help you install, deploy, configure, and load the data through an easy-to-use, automated series of tasks that require little configuration. If you don't have ArcGIS Pro, you can still deploy the tool from ArcMap manually by configuring and publishing your data to your ArcGIS Online organizational account.


The Public Crime Map app can be deployed in your ArcGIS Online organizational account without even downloading the solution. When you deploy it, you will find the following:






Public Crime Map

An application used by the general public to view recent crime activity in and around a given location


Public Crime Map

A map used in the Public Crime Map application to view recent crime activity in and around a given location

Feature layers


A feature layer that stores actions or omissions that constitute an offense that may be prosecuted by a government agency and is punishable by law


A public feature layer view of actions or omissions that constitute an offense that may be prosecuted by a government agency and is punishable by law


View the Public Crime Map application.

Neighborhood Crime Reports

This configuration of Web AppBuilder can be used by citizens to view historical crime activity and generate reports for a given neighborhood, district, or community, helping law enforcement agencies engage neighborhood groups, satisfy media requests, and help other stakeholders monitor and understand crime problems affecting the community over time.


ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro can be used to configure the Neighborhood Crime Reports feature layer, which can then be shared via your ArcGIS Online organizational account. As with the Public Crime Map application, to use the ArcGIS Solutions Deployment tool with Neighborhood Crime Reports, you will need ArcGIS Pro 1.3 or later.


When you deploy Neighborhood Crime Reports in your ArcGIS Online organizational account, you will get the following:






Neighborhood Crime Reports

An application used by community leaders to view historical crime activity and generate reports for a given neighborhood, district, or community


Neighborhood Crime Reports

A map used in the Neighborhood Crime Reports application to view historical crime activity and generate reports for a given neighborhood, district, or community

Feature layers


A feature layer used to store actions or omissions that constitute an offense that may be prosecuted by a government agency and is punishable by law


A public feature layer view of actions or omissions that constitute an offense that may be prosecuted by a government agency and is punishable by law


A feature layer used to store the administrative and response districts maintained by emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement agencies


A public feature layer view of administrative and response districts maintained by emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement agencies


View Neighborhood Crime Reports.

To learn more about these solutions, join us for the next edition of the Esri Law Enforcement Webinar series:

Public Crime Maps and Reports with ArcGIS

February 1, 2018

0900-1000 (PST)