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MCP works with NHTSA to assess GIS data sharing for 911

December 15, 2021  - By
Photo: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Photo: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Mission Critical Partners (MCP) will collaborate to assess the status of geographic information systems (GIS) within the 911 community.

The goal of the initiative is to define what is required to achieve interoperable GIS data sharing nationwide. NHTSA selected MCP following a full and open solicitation and comprehensive evaluation of all proposals. The National 911 Program, housed within NHTSA, will lead the effort.

Thousands of 911 centers in the U.S. have not deployed a nationally uniform, consistent GIS capability or mechanism for sharing GIS data. According to the NHTSA, GIS is an essential element of a truly interoperable, interconnected national Next Generation 911 (NG911) system.

In 2019, the “National NG911 Roadmap,” a report published by the National 911 Program and supported by MCP, highlighted GIS as a significant barrier to achieving a nationwide system of systems. The report emphasized the need to develop standards, requirements and best practices for sharing GIS data. Later in 2019, the program published the “Strategic Plan for 911 Data and Information Sharing,” which also underscored the need for GIS data uniformity.

Critical elements of the National 911 Program/MCP final report will include:

  • Current status of GIS. As 911 centers deploy NG911 and transfer calls across jurisdictions, the lack of GIS consistency poses significant problems. Many technical and non-technical challenges are associated with how GIS data is developed, processed, shared and stored among 911 entities. The report will identify the technical issues that the community must address.
  • Assessment of required entities, issues and partner agencies. Governance, administrative, financial and operational issues will be addressed, including resources, budget and organizations needed to overcome the gaps.
  • Strategies and metrics. The report will identify metrics to determine the accuracy of GIS data. It also will present strategies for overcoming the challenges found throughout the assessment process.

The National 911 Program is responsible for improving coordination and communication among federal, state and local 911 centers, personnel, and telecommunications carriers and vendors. One of the program’s primary objectives is to develop and share resources concerning the technology used in providing 911 services.

Mission Critical Partners (MCP) provides data integration, consulting, network and cybersecurity solutions for mission-critical communications networks in the public safety, justice, healthcare, transportation and utility markets.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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