Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Intergraph and Esri Collaborate to Enhance Geospatial for Public Safety
March 26th, 2015 by Susan Smith
In an interview with vice president of Public Safety Products, Intergraph SG&I Kalyn Sims, and Russ Johnson, director of Public Safety for Esri, discussed the latest collaboration between the two companies, to enhance geospatial capabilities for public safety and security agencies. Through the collaboration, the companies will work to more tightly align Intergraph’s Computer-Aided Dispatch system, I/CAD, and Esri’s ArcGIS Platform.
Because CAD and GIS are so vital to public safety and incident management, this alliance makes a lot of sense. Together, call-taking and dispatch software, maps and spatial data provide agencies with the information they need to provide for and protect the public. Solutions that work cohesively enable agencies to do their jobs quicker and more efficiently.
GISCafe Voice: What do you feel are the benefits for your individual companies, for the agencies you’ve been interacting with up to this point, and for the public?
Kalyn Sims: Intergraph and Esri are collaborating to enhance benefits for the public safety and security market. The goal is to tightly align Intergraph’s Computer-Aided Dispatch System as well as our other public safety products with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. We started out with a development of a new product which is iMap editor for ArcGIS, which will be released in June. Our I/CAD system runs against a proprietary Intergraph map component that supports many different GIS functions such as geocoding, routing first responders to events, displaying locations of units on a map, etc. Whenever we do a CAD implementation project, we need to import whatever GIS data our customer is using into our proprietary format. So historically, Intergraph has offered a product we call iMap Editor that runs on top Intergraph’s Geomedia product suite, and that allows our customers to bring their data into our proprietary format. What we’re doing with Esri is we’re building a similar product but it will run within Esri’s ArcGIS platform, and this enables our Esri-based customers to more efficiently get their GIS data into the I/CAD format using tools that are familiar to them (ArcGIS). It will also give them the ability to more frequently update their data, which benefits our agencies and the public they serve by enabling the most up-to-date geospatial data possible within their first responder systems.
Russ Johnson: From the Esri perspective, we have a lot of customers and organizations who use Esri platforms to do work other than public safety. This enables them to manage that data and have a one-stop shop where they can do all their work/edits, then upload it into Intergraph I/CAD. Many of our customers use Intergraph I/CAD. It’s a good CAD system, so this provides them a way to avoid extra steps to convert their data, and directly feed into Intergraph I/CAD system.
I think this benefits customers immensely, makes their jobs easier, and also makes it possible to look at other potential data that might be interesting for other public safety solutions. Or there might be a desire to use it in the Intergraph I/CAD system environment.
Our collaboration with Esri is purely within our public safety and security business.
GISCafe Voice: What are the kinds of challenges that have led you to create this type of resource for the different agencies and public?
Kalyn Sims: For this first stage of our collaboration, the biggest change from the Intergraph perspective, since many of our customers are Esri-based, have ArcGIS, and they want to able to do their GIS work, including transferring their CAD data within ArcGIS. This eliminates some steps for them and enables them to be able to work more efficiently be able to get their data into CAD quicker and more frequently. As their geospatial footprint changes, they can assure responders have access to the most up-to-date data. Not that they couldn’t access their data before, it’s just a more streamlined more efficient process for users that are familiar with ArcGIS.
Russ Johnson: It just makes the Esri users more efficient in their capability to manage not only GIS work they do, but now they do not have to touch another system in order to provide additional edits and data management with I/CAD.
GISCafe Voice: Do you have other relationships with GIS vendors that offer public safety solutions?
Kalyn Sims: Intergraph realizes that in today’s dynamic tech environment we need to be able to offer options to our customers, with whatever mapping solutions they’re using. Our goal is to make our map production process as simple and straightforward and streamlined as we can.
Russ Johnson: From the Esri perspective, we have over 3,000 partners that we work with that provide solutions to various industries, public safety being one of those. We’re focused on empowering partners to use and build robust solutions that either are built on top of or integrate with our technology. So we’re always looking for opportunities to help our customers in any way we can with solutions and partners that provide capability in any industry.
Categories: 9-1-1 GIS systems, analytics, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, asset management, Big Data, cloud, data, emergency response, Esri, geospatial, GIS, Hexagon, integrated GIS solutions, Intergraph, lidar, mapping, public safety, survey
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