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Front Page » July 16, 2009 » Carbon County News » GIS project could improve electronic maps
Published 1,922 days ago

GIS project could improve electronic maps


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By COLLIN MCRANN
Sun Advocate writer

Keeping addresses in order is a job that has fallen partially on the Carbon County Global Information Systems (GIS) department, a department that is also responsible for mapping the county and it's projects. And because both addresses and mapping are important functions of county activities, Ben Clement, the GIS manager for Carbon County, has been developing a new system in which the two can more easily interact with each other.

"This system is a position that I've come to over several years, and is a solution to some of the problems I perceive," said Clement.

Clement's system utilizes longitude and latitude to more accuratly map addresses and locations across the globe which is why he is pushing for it to adopted on a more universal scale.

"The entire Earth is already addressed (with logitude and latitude) my system is just a change in numbers," said Clement.

The current system has encountered problems besides accuracy because it is difficult for computerized dispatch systems to pinpoint current addresses for fire crews as well as law enforcement.

For a computer to find a location on the current address system, it must translate the longitude and latidude cordinates into a street address, and anyone who has used Google Earth or Maps will know that while it works, it's kind of a hit or miss approach to finding places.

"An important part of this (current) geocoding is that it has to get translated everytime. Something always gets lost in the translation," said Clement, "People are conditioned by television dispatch (where it works seemlesly). It really dosen't work like that."

The lack of any translation is one of the advantages to Clement's system because computers and humans would be able to more precisly find localities worldwide. Clement has confidence that his approach could see a 98 percetial of accuracy, however, he has difficulties in getting it implimented.

Controversies that have plaqued Clement's system include people's unwillingess to change their addresses as well as unfamiliarity with a new way of catagorizing communites.

"There are parts of Carbon County that have never been formally addressed and addresses (in general) are always controversal to some people." said Clement.

In order for the system to be adopted, Clement indicated that he hopes it could be put in place on top of the current system, for "the new generation to grow up with," and while he has not had much luck with agencies like the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), he has been in contact with them to work out details and make it standard.

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July 16, 2009
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