Directors of the Nashua Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deployed the digital pen software in a scheduled exercise that involved local and state agencies such as police, fire, SWAT, IT, health, the Red Cross, ambulance services, and education. Capturx for ArcGIS was used to capture and disseminate time-sensitive field data to the EOC during a simulated terrorist attack, which included explosives, fires, hostages, and continuously changing circumstances.
"In a terrorist situation where field information is quickly changing, we have to be able to immediately capture, document, and disseminate emergency information to the EOC in real-time," reported Angelo Marino, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager for the City of Nashua. "Capturx for ArcGIS provides us with an easy way to collect data with digital pens on paper maps and an even better way to access this information with significant speed and simplicity. We can now upload, display, and share emergency information with a few clicks of the mouse."
Data Collection and Dissemination Challenges
In previous drills, the flow of information from the field to the EOC proved challenging. Responders at the scene provided situational updates to departmental EOC staff via cell phone or radio. Verbal updates would then be manually documented on a map or form. To share the update with other departments at the EOC, the entire group would gather around a small flip chart for impromptu updates as the situation warranted. With over 20 agencies and 100 people located at the EOC, information did not always flow efficiently and the combination of verbal relays and transcription of data from the field was error prone.
The Solution: The Simplicity of Pen and Paper with Actionable Digital Data
To improve the flow of information from the field, Capturx for ArcGIS was deployed to collect and disseminate field intelligence back to the EOC. Teams printed maps on ordinary paper through ArcGIS and then took those maps into the field to record important information about fast-changing situations. Using the Capturx digital pen, the team member wrote on the map while the digital pen recorded every ink stroke. Once the pen was docked into its USB port on a PC or laptop, the data automatically appeared in the ArcGIS database and was then shared electronically with all team members. In the EOC, team members saw the information as it was collected in the field and there was no guessing or miscommunication through verbal relays. Also, since they were able to see the data within ArcGIS, appropriate team members could immediately manipulate the data and create different views and simulations.
"The City of Nashua provides an excellent example of an agency that immediately achieved efficiencies in their operations and communications under circumstances where time is truly of the essence," said Ken Schneider, CEO of Adapx. "Capturx not only improved the timeliness and flow of information for the City of Nashua, it also facilitated faster and more accurate decision making."
Learn More at an Upcoming Webinar
To learn more about the Capturx software solutions for Homeland Security & Emergency Response, join Adapx at an upcoming Webinar on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Participants can pre-register at: https://www.carahsoft.com/events/adapx/01-28-09/index.php?ref=Adapx.
Adapx is changing the way teams collaborate and collect data with software that digitally enables paper-based maps, designs, notes, and forms for use with digital pens and other multimodal technologies. A broad range of industries and agencies use Capturx products to capture actionable intelligence in any environment and make better decisions in less time and with fewer resources. Teams enjoy the natural advantages of collecting data with pen and paper as well as seamless integration into Microsoft Office, CAD, and GIS software, without the delays and expense of processing paper-based data or deploying mobile computers. Privately held and headquartered in Seattle, the company has partnerships with Anoto, Lockheed Martin, and In-Q-Tel. Adapx was also recently named a Cool Vendor in Emerging Technologies by Gartner. For more information, please visit www.adapx.com.
Adapx and Capturx, and their respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Adapx Corporation. Other products and company names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.
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