GeoComm and Esri Canada collaborate on indoor mapping capabilities for better 9-1-1 emergency response


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GeoComm, provider of Public Safety Location Intelligence®, and Esri Canada, a provider of geographic information system (GIS) solutions, have introduced a proof-of concept (PoC) solution that improves locating 9-1-1 callers inside buildings during an emergency event. The solution, unveiled at the Esri Partner Conference on March 6, 2023 in Palm Springs, California, aims to solve the challenges of identifying the specific locations of people, assets, and events that are indoors and commonly undetectable to emergency services personnel.

The PoC was demonstrated in collaboration with the City of Guelph, Ontario, a recipient of $1.017 million CAD from a federal program of Defence Research and Development Canada, towards the development of a next-generation emergency services GIS database.

“In public safety emergency response it is essential that help arrives in the right location, at the right time.  For over 25 years GeoComm has been dedicated to providing public safety agencies GIS data services and applications to improve emergency response.  We are excited to be  partnering with Esri Canada in their commitment to serving Canadian municipalities and bringing them the power to see indoors,” Dan Craigie, Strategic Development Director for Public Safety GIS Content at GeoComm.

Historically, 9-1-1 and emergency services are locationally challenged when dispatching and responding to specific locations inside buildings. With the average citizen spending over 80% of their lives indoors and over 80% of all 9-1-1 calls now originating from mobile phones (with no fixed location), those location challenges are greatly amplified. Lives have been lost as a result.

With raw geodetic positions from mobile phones now becoming available for 9-1-1 calls, improved actionable information about a caller’s location is possible–even indoors. Unfortunately, without context of the indoor space, this raw position—while potentially very accurate and precise—is little more than a blue dot on an otherwise blank screen. With indoor maps, however, dispatchers will be able to effectively communicate the location of a caller in a better context (e.g., stairs, rooms, floors, etc.).

“In partnering with GeoComm, we’ve been able to bring awareness and education to Canada on the importance of indoor mapping for 9-1-1 emergency response. The technological shift to Next Generation 9-1-1 and the availability of the z-axis will enable more accurate and efficient emergency response–when minutes and seconds matter,” said Joann Fox, NG9-1-1 industry manager, Esri Canada.

Additionally, due to their potential usefulness during an emergency response, the use of location-based IoT sensors within the indoor space must be considered. For example, the PoC solution leverages building related data from location-based heat and smoke sensors to determine indoor location, which significantly enhances situational awareness for first responders.

For more information on NG9-1-1 and indoor mapping, visit

About GeoComm: GeoComm, provider of Public Safety Location Intelligence®, serves local, regional, statewide, and military agencies in forty-nine states, helping keep more than 100 million people safe. Over the last 27 years, GeoComm’s public safety GIS systems have routed emergency calls to the appropriate 9-1-1 call centers, mapped callers’ locations on tactical emergency response mapping displays, and guided emergency responders to accident scenes on in-vehicle mapping and navigation applications within police, fire, and ambulance vehicles.  In addition, our statewide NG9-1-1 GIS project footprint has expanded to include 17 statewide projects across the country. Visit to learn more about GeoComm and our Public Safety Location Intelligence® offerings.

About Esri Canada: Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 15 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2019, Esri Canada achieved Platinum Club status with the Canada's Best Managed Companies program by retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years or more. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Explore more: Esri

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