I have to prepare a case study for my GIS Mgmt/Policy class. We are suppose to select a company/agency that has already implemented a GIS system and interview them. Desired information runs along the lines of; How did the project get started? , How did you obtain support from management?, Did you conduct a Needs Assessment?, What were the costs and benefits?, etc.
I selected the Colorado Springs Fire Department after reading an article in the local paper about a new system they were implementing. It’s pretty neat and provides a good example of why I have selected GIS to focus my career on. The system is called Automatic Vehicle Locater (AVL) and is said to be the first of it’s kind. Firetrucks will be fitted with GPS devices that monitor their locations and relay information to the city’s central traffic center. As a truck races towards the emergency scene, computers will map out the quickest route to the fire, identify traffic lights along the way and change their timing so they’re green when the truck arrives.
Onboard the fire engine is another computer that not only shows the route to the blaze but allows firefighters to get information about floor plans, building inspections, hazardous materials stored inside, and other important information.
I went downtown yesterday and conducted my first interview. The AVL system is only one of many GIS applications in use by the Fire Department. It was very interesting and confirmed my desire to become a GIS expert.