Indoor Mapping for Public Safety Emergency Response

In public safety emergency response, it is critical to rescue public from the right location, at the right time. Digitizing indoor space data and developing it into maps is important for government agencies to be able to ensure public safety.

For example, in case of a major fire incident or terrorist attack, location information is key for response teams to know how to approach the site appropriately and quickly rescue as many people as possible.

Historically, 9-1-1 and emergency services have been location challenged when dispatching and responding to specific locations inside buildings. Most people expect that 9-1-1 call centers can pinpoint their exact location during emergency calls, even inside of buildings.

With the average citizen spending more than 80% of their lives indoors and more than 80% of all 9-1-1 calls now originating from mobile phones (with no fixed location), those challenges are greatly amplified. As a result, lives were lost.

While new technologies are emerging that can provide raw position measurements for wireless 9-1-1 callers indoors. The advancements in indoor positioning for 9-1-1 create an opportunity to reduce emergency response times inside large and complex indoor environments. There is an urgent need for indoor maps for 9-1-1 and public safety emergency responders.


  • No fixed and accurate location is provided inside the buildings, only a dot on a map is shown with no additional structural information provides
  • Little actionable context for telecommunicators and first responders

Aerial photography and state-of-the-art maps play a vital role in 9-1-1 emergencies with millions of callers and emergency responders relying on them for accurate information. As a result, 9-1-1 authorities need to begin planning for indoor mapping which includes elements such as:

  • Educating key stakeholders across the public safety enterprise on the challenges associated with indoor 9-1-1 caller location
  • Promoting the impact of indoor maps for reducing emergency response times, protecting more property, and saving more lives
  • Discussing options for adding indoor maps with the 9-1-1 PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) mapping application provider
  • Identifying opportunities for public-private partnerships where public and community calls to action can help bring in indoor maps for critical building assets and locations in the community.

Collaborations among Location providers and GIS mapping Companies

To solve the challenges of identifying the specific locations of people, assets, and events that are indoors and commonly undetectable to emergency services personnel.

Public Safety Location Intelligence provider, GeoComm and geographic information system (GIS) solutions provider Esri Canada, have announced a partnership. The two companies have jointly introduced a proof-of-concept (PoC) solution that improves locating 9-1-1 callers inside buildings.

“The technological shift to Next Generation 9-1-1 and the availability of the z-axis will enable more accurate and efficient emergency response–when minutes and seconds matter,” said Joann Fox, NG9-1-1 industry manager, Esri Canada.

In addition, due to their potential utility during an emergency response, the use of location-based IoT sensors within the indoor space must be considered. For example, the PoC solution leverages building-related data from location-based heat and smoke sensors to determine indoor location, which improves situational awareness for first responders.

A provider of cloud-native 911 mapping and analytics solutions for Public Safety, RapidDeploy has also partnered with aerial imagery provider EagleView. This integration will help 911 call takers to save time and work through a single view that integrates critical site details, pinpointing the call location with real-time aerial imagery.

By integrating EagleView directly within RapidDeploy Radius Mapping solution, they are instantly armed with the intelligence needed to understand the situation on the ground, identifying building access points, key property details, and physical barriers such as waterways, railway lines, highways, or mountains.

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