Using Mapping Technology To Promote Safety in Schools

by Thomas Prewett

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In response to today’s heightened concerns regarding school safety, school districts across the country are ramping up investment in technology solutions that empower first responders to arrive on the scene faster and with more contextual awareness.

One of the most impactful pieces of technology that first responders leverage today is interactive mapping technology that enables them to pinpoint exactly where an emergency or critical incident is happening on a school campus.

How Can Mapping Data Increase Safety in Schools?

When a critical situation occurs on campus, such as a student having a diabetic attack or a seizure, or in cases of an active assailant, many schools are mandated to provide their staff and students with emergency buttons or silent alarm systems that connect directly to 911.

When 911 is alerted through these systems, telecommunicators can be provided with interactive mapping data that lets them know the exact location of the emergency. RapidSOS Premium, powered by partners like GeoComm, provides ECCs and first responders with locally authoritative GIS data hosting.

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By taking paper-based or digital floor plans and turning them into interactive GIS data, GeoComm is able to provide emergency services with transformative data that keeps the lives of students, faculty, and first responders safe.

The Importance of Z-Axis Mapping Data

While an address provides the most basic level of location information necessary when responding to an emergency, enhanced data can help first responders arrive more quickly to the precise scene of an emergency. Through z-axis mapping data, first responders can even identify the vertical location or floor level in which an emergency is taking place, helping them identify the specific location from where to enter the building and how to arrive as quickly as possible.

How Mapping Data Impacts 911 Telecommunicators and First Responders

One of the key advantages of indoor mapping technology is the ability for 911 telecommunicators to view all local GIS location data, powered by GeoComm, on a single screen.

In the event of a school emergency, ECCs are often flooded with calls and digital alerts. Making sense of this sudden influx of emergency data can be overwhelming for any 911 telecommunicator when every second counts and lives are on the line.

When faced with multiple alerts related to a single event, compiling this information into a single, easy-to-read format helps telecommunicators manage and make sense of an emergency with a comprehensive perspective.


By equipping 911 with this single screen view during an on-campus emergency, telecommunicators are empowered to communicate vital information to first responders in a timely manner and help reduce response times.

Watch: GeoComm and RapidSOS Demo Enhanced School Mapping Data for 911

Interested in learning more about how mapping data is being leveraged to improve emergency response and school safety?

Watch our recent conversation with GeoComm, entitled The Importance of Z-Axis and Indoor Mapping Data for Keeping Schools Safe. For this discussion, the RapidSOS team was joined by Heather Butler, 911 Coordinator for Dekalb County in Illinois, and Dan Craigie, Director of Public Safety GIS Content at GeoComm to explore the different types of data available when responding to a school related emergency.

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During the conversation, panelists highlighted the transformative capability of indoor mapping data during emergency response. Additionally, the RapidSOS product team also demonstrated how unified mapping solutions can improve situational awareness for 911 telecommunicators and first responders during a school emergency.

To learn more, you can watch a recording of the conversation here.

About GeoComm

GeoComm, provider of Public Safety Location Intelligence®, offers indoor mapping services aimed at empowering law enforcement, fire, and medical responders by providing a visual representation of indoor spaces for key buildings in their response areas.

To learn more visit,