As many of you know, Active911′s default mapping system uses Google Maps to provide you with routing and directions. We take the address sent to us by your dispatch, and search Google Maps for that address. Whatever Google Maps returns as the result is where we route you for the call. Google Maps is great, but it’s not perfect. Some of our departments have had issues with addresses in the wrong location, streets labeled incorrectly, and many other issues that could not be solved easily by using only Google Maps.
In an effort to help departments whose routing through Google Maps is poor or inaccurate, we have developed a new mapping system called “Wiz”. Wiz is in a very early beta phase, and uses shapefiles provided by users that contain the address information for the locations in their response area. Specifically, the shapefiles need to contain the address number, street name, city name, and zip code. When that information is entered into Wiz, we search Wiz for the address sent to us by a dispatch center for an emergency, rather than defaulting to Google Maps. If we are unable to find the address using Wiz, the system will then attempt to use Google Maps.
If you’re interested in beta testing Wiz, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest, along with a shapefile that contains the address number, street name, city name, and zip code for all the locations in your area.