Map Data for Life Critical System to be Crowdsourced

I Want You to Volunteer Geographic Information Today!

Soon the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) will be rolling out a life critical system that will rely on crowdsourcing for data maintenance.

Who They Gonna Call?
Suppose there’s a gas leak around Austin. 911 staff can use their Emergency Notification System (ENS) to create a polygon, record a voice message (“run away!”) and send it to all locations that fall within a polygon. While phone companies have provided the ENS with addresses for landlines, addresses for cell phones are not available. As more people forgo landlines and rely solely on cellular, new ways for collecting locations are needed.

PIN required to Save PushPins
CAPCOG contracted with AmberGIS to develop a web based application using Google Maps and Sql Server 2008. The web app allows users to add locations on a map. If the user wants to provide Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) to the database, the user must first be authenticated by entering his phone number and service provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.). The web application sends a text message to the phone number containing a randomly generated PIN. When the user receives the text message, he enters the PIN and saves locations – but only for the specified cell phone.

Don’t Worry…
The user does not have to be Registered Public Land Surveyor, as some people might prefer, in order to provide VGI.

Only paid staff will be allowed to send Zombie Alerts – NOT volunteers.
zombie alert


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