Site mapping is the process of cataloging information about a facility and then providing that information to first responders and 9-1-1 centers to help improve their ability to respond. Core site mapping data includes details about the campus, its buildings and who might be inside. This information is presented via maps, aerial images, floor plans, live camera feeds and imagery such as video clips, digital pictures and 360 images.
360 degree images are not new technology or new to site mapping. In fact, SafePlans (then S.A.F.E. Consulting) used iPIX 360 degree images in our very first site mapping system. We soon learned that accurate, accessible and sustainable information is far more important to site mapping than 360 images. While some vendors such as Eagleview / Pictometry are promoting critical360 images as a new technology, its not new and has limited site mapping value.
In 2005 SafePlans went away from 360 images and here are three of the reasons why:
- 360 images do not support tactical operations. As a former SWAT team member, our founder Brad Spicer, places a high emphasis on a high-tech to no-tech solution. This why our ERIP system generates site mapping books (as a PDF download) to support interactive web and app based site mapping. There is no way to print 360 images. If technology fails during an emergency, site mapping that is based on 360 images becomes useless.
- Interoperability. Communications interoperability goes beyond radios and includes Internet-based solutions like site mapping. 360 images typically require special plugins and updates. Since most first responders do not have administrative rights to install software on their mobile data terminals, 360 degree images are not interoperable. That is why our ERIP system uses only images and video files that are automatically supported by all PC, Mac and mobile browsers.
- Sustainability. With over 15 years of site mapping experience, we know that buildings change. We also know that inaccurate site mapping data is worse than no site mapping data. Updating 360 images requires special equipment and software; making sustainability a challenge. With ERIP, if you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can update your site mapping.
360 images may be a great way to sell a home, but when it comes to supporting tactical operations in an emergency, they have limited value and the juice is probably not worth the squeeze. You can learn more about ERIP Site Mapping here or please contact us. We would be thrilled to set up a demo and answer any questions!