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Semi-Automated 3D Geo-Coding of Large Urban Structures for Deployment of Effective Emergency Response and Communication

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2013
122 pages
In order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of emergencies or disasters that impact large urban structures, this project created the Effective Emergency Response and Communication (EERC) system, which consists of a command center for managing the emergency, a mobile application that runs on multiple mobile devices being used by responders in the field, and an evacuation system that runs simulations of optimal evacuation patterns in the midst of dynamically changing conditions.
The EERC System has a client-server architecture, using a PostgreSQL server and iPhone/iPod devices for communication between responders and the command center. The EERC system departs from traditional GIS-based solutions in four respects. First, the system provides direct interaction with a 3D representation of the urban structure as a 3D graph, including all viewing, navigation, and routing so that participants can immediately obtain views of operations in complex spatial environments. Second, situational awareness is central to the system. It simultaneously provides current information, including evacuation status for the buildings, occupants, and first responders inside buildings, as well as to the commander. Third, the system is scalable with the employed algorithms, using a combination of automated processing and graph simplification schemes that have been used to digitize over 70 campus buildings and surrounding streets, as well as buildings at other locations. Fourth, the system supports dynamically changing conditions during an emergency. These are entered into the system for immediate feedback and interactive visual analysis that includes providing responders with decision support for actions to be taken. The EERC system has been evaluated through a sequence of training events with emergency and safety personnel and first responders. It is now being used in various police and emergency planning operations and training. 42 figures, 4 tables, 6 algorithms, and a report on the dissemination of the research findings

Date Published: June 1, 2013