Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)

October 19, 2000

Teleconference originating from

DIS Interactive Technologies, Lacey, WA

Introductions – Ian Von Essen, WAGIC Chair - From Spokane, Ian opened the meeting and welcomed council members in Lacey, Bellingham, Vancouver, Seattle, Tri-Cities and Ellensburg.

GIS in support of Law and Justice community

E911 CallMapper – Ian Von Essen, Mike Stewart and Dave Irwin

In 1997 the FCC mandated that all cellular phones within the next couple of years must produce a set of x, y coordinates that are within 150 ft. of the call’s location. The Washington State E911 office provided Spokane County with a small service contract to develop a low-cost map viewer with ESRI’s MapObjects software for use in Spokane County’s main Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), or better known as an E911 center. The application is named CallMapper and the initial goal was to make it cheap, fast and simple.

It was determined that it would be simplest to take direct feed via a data tap of incoming 911 calls from US West (now Quest). The MapViewer software then takes this data feed of incoming 911 calls and automatically separates it into a series of fields (addresses, street type, call type) and loads this information into a spreadsheet. To see a map of the call, the dispatcher selects the record they want to view and it shows the location of the incoming call via a map on the screen. The dispatcher is then able to pan, zoom in and out, or enter in other address information via the keyboard to the map and toggle between the map and database.

Version 1.0 of CallMapper, completed in 1998 was very well received. The beta version or CallMapper 2.0 is scheduled for release in a couple of weeks and once tested completely, a copy of the software will be provided to the Enhanced 911 Office of the Washington State Military Department for review. They are hoping that by next spring it will be available as a low cost solution to other small PSAP centers. It will be available as shareware and the only expense will be the MapObjects license from ESRI and client license.

For more information call: 

Dave Irwin, Technical Coordinator
State of Washington Military Department
Emergency Management Division
Enhance 911 Office, Building 20
Camp Murray, WA 98430-5122
Phone: 253-512-7017

Using GIS in the assessment of citizen input in local public safety effectiveness – Ariane Schmidt, City of Spokane-GIS, Michael Gaffney, Washington State University

In conjunction with Washington State University, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) conducted a comprehensive citizen survey focusing on two of the department’s community outreach programs; the Block Watch program and the Community Oriented Policing Services Substations (COPS). The survey questions sought to gauge the effectiveness and interest level in these programs. They also wanted to assess the citizens’ confidence level in the city’s police services, the perception and level of fear of crime in their particular neighborhood as well as overall in the city. Finally, they wanted to see if there was direct correlation between areas of survey responses and the number of calls actually received by the SPD.

The project then geocoded the tabular results and conducted GIS analysis of all survey respondents to create aggregated thematic maps. From these, color enhancement was used to find where bad addresses were concentrated, where the "no responses" were located and where the "good" responses were located. First they used SPSS and created a survey code/source book. This information was then imported into ArcView (the primary piece of GIS used). S Plus Spatial Analysis software was also used.

A total of 853 (58%) good responses were received out of a 1700 member Block Watch database and it was determined that within this group there were 431 active Block Watch members with "associational activity" (memberships in other volunteer policing and civic organizations) being evident.

These maps can be used to compare different areas of the city with the number of police calls received to the number of respondents within those areas. For more information contact: 

Ariane Schmidt
City of Spokane, GIS Program
Phone: 509-625-6489

From distress to response…when seconds count - Eileen Frimberger, Clark County Dept. of Assessment and GIS

Emergency Response Map (ERMap) was designed to aid both the 911 dispatcher as well as the emergency personnel responding to a call. It is an ESRI MapObjects application that allows users to access map data layers and images and returns valuable emergency related information. The goal for ERMap was to develop one application with the ability to customize it and integrate existing AutoCad drawings and Computer Aided Dispatch software. There was a two-phase implementation; first as a stand alone application and secondly, with CAD integration.

There are tabs (custom views) for various emergency personnel (fire, police, utilities, and topography). This allows each user to load their own maps and customize the application for their use. You can turn layers off and on, zoom in and out, print and e-mail the maps as well. Emergency response time can be minimized in locating hard to find locations, with the aid of aerial photography as well as a variety of search and zoom tools. Other options include a radius tool to set up a perimeter search, line drawing tool and in the future, the use of x, y coordinates and the ability to map calls in vehicles for use with AutoCad database. Databases (shapefiles) are updated weekly.

The cost is $100 one time cost per installation for the MapObjects license and $100 per year per install for non-county agencies.  For more information: 

Eileen Frimberger, GIS Analyst
Clark County Dept. of Assessment and GIS
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Phone: 360-397-2391 ext. 4653

Using GIS to research racial profiling – Ron Rasmussen, Seattle Police Department

The Seattle police department is looking at the issue of racial profiling and trying to determine the best approach for evaluating this issue within the department. The standard approach was one of assuming that population and police distributions were equal throughout the jurisdiction. The reality is that the Seattle police are distributed where there is the greatest demand and populations are not distributed evenly.

Using ESRI’s ArcView and Spatial Analyst extension they viewed maps showing population densities, traffic stop occurrences and finally, areas showing officer initiated contacts. They first looked for visual comparisons on these maps and found that there were consistencies throughout with definite correlation. They also determined that the issue itself was too complex and they would need additional help. As it stands now, they have begun working with the University of Washington and Northeastern University to assist them in looking at the complexities and building statistical models to further study racial profiling. For more information contact: 

Ron Rasmussen
Seattle Police Department
Public Safety Building
610 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-1886
Fax: 206-684-7730

Public Sex Offender Registry – Michael Kayne, Pierce County – GIS

The Pierce County Sheriff’s office approached the County GIS department asking them to develop an Internet application that would show the location and addresses of level 1, 2, and 3 sex offenders residing within the county. The site is accessed through the Pierce county website where the user navigates to the Registered Sex Offender site within the sheriff’s department link. The website has been up approximately 3 months and the goal of the project was to provide information to the citizens as well as improve communication with citizens via a feedback form within the application.

There are two ways to search for information; tabular or by address. With level 1 and 2 offenders basic information, such as name and age, is provided. With the level 3 offenders (those most likely to re-offend), there is a picture of the offender along with physical description and a report of his offense. The ability to save these files was disabled so as to discourage distribution. This application is a very straightforward use of GIS. By entering an address, the system displays a map of the neighborhood within a half mile circle around the address and provides a summary report of offenders registered in that area.

The feedback form at the end has been very useful and successful in the correction of addresses and other tips from the public. Other county sheriff’s departments have also found it helpful in tracking the location and movement of individuals in this register. Another added benefit has been the improved morale within the Sex Offender Unit of the sheriff’s department as well as improvement in how the citizens’ view the sheriff’s department and their overall feeling of safety. Interest was very high initially and the site now averages approximately 200 hits per day.  For more information contact: 

Linda Gerull
Pierce County - GIS
Phone: 253-798-4923

Pierce Responder System – Michael Kayne, Pierce County – GIS

This application was developed for police, fire, school officials and other emergency personnel. The Emergency Management System had been looking at various ways to improve response to school safety and asked the Pierce county GIS department to help develop a simple, web-based application. After the Columbine High School (Colorado) incident, their focus shifted into high gear for development of this application called Pierce Responder System.

All schools within the County are in the database with different tabular information for each school. Information such as contact information for many individuals of each school, staging area information, tactical information, building floor plans, and shut off valves for water and alarms are all included. It also has many interior and exterior digital photos of the school and rooms and surrounding areas. The system allows responders to interactively enter incident action and communication plans, and situation reports that are all then available to responding public and safety personnel. This information for emergency managers becomes vital during an incident to coordinate large numbers of resources and inform hundreds of concerned parents. All concerned are viewing the same identical and most current information simultaneously.

This application was developed after many meetings with school officials. It has been used in a mock incident exercise and tested with very heavy usage successfully. The question was raised as to who could be co-owners of the plan and anyone that makes an edit is able to be a co-owner.  For more information: 

Linda Gerull
Pierce County – GIS
Phone: 253-798-4923

WAGIC business items:

Update on Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Legislative Initiative – Carrie Wolfe

Response was received from last meeting’s request for participation in a core review and input team. It is composed of individuals from Federal, State and local governments in addition to those with DNR. Two review and input periods have now been conducted and they are getting very close to a final draft bill.

The bottom line goal is to gain support and recognition for Framework activities and efforts. Carrie reported that she and George Spencer (DOT) have drafted a Plan for Washington State Framework, intended as a communication and education tool. This plan will go along with the bill to the Legislature. This document describes what Framework is about, who we are and where we want it to go.

The draft legislation and plan are available for review by contacting Carrie at

Closing Site Roundtable – Ian Von Essen

Ian stressed once again the importance and interest in GIS and the relationship with the law enforcement community. There are already sites showing live 911 calls in progress and in Spokane, GPS units are being used to trace suspects’ car.

The next meeting will be a business meeting on December 14th. The election will be over by the December meeting so a more detailed discussion of the DNR final bill will be needed before it is presented to the Legislature. Also detailed discussions on developing a Washington State LandSat7 Data Consortium, the Geodata Alliance and a report on the National States Geographic Information Council Conference in September attended by Jeff and Ian will be presented.

The following meeting in February will be another theme-based meeting focusing on GIS and the environment; looking at such issues as salmon recovery, smart growth and GMA. Please let Ian know if any sites have relevant applications or presentations they would like to have included on that agenda. Jeff asked that all sites consider other ideas for future theme based meetings as well and felt the applications presented today were all very interesting.

Tri-cites thanked WAGIC for the meeting today and also reiterated the interest in law enforcement issues. Bellingham really appreciated all presenters and thought all did a good job. The question was raised as to how addresses were to originate from cellular phones. That issue does need to be resolved. Two choices are either embedding a GPS chip in the phones themselves (very lengthy process) or using triangulation of phone signal to generate an x, y coordinate to within 150 ft. of the call.

Seattle, Vancouver, Ellensburg and Spokane all enjoyed the presentations and thanked presenters for having a lot of interesting information today.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

Next meeting – December 14 at 10:00 a.m.