RAVEN911 is an internet based mapping system developed from the perspective of an emergency operator utilizing exemplary technical expertise, and the latest in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) computer technology. The RAVEN911 Mapping system brings together responder defined critical data sets with easy to use mapping tools (or widgets), thus allowing users to interact with the map in a meaningful and efficient way during an emergency.
Based on user feedback, some of the greatest features of the RAVEN 911 system are its ease of use, its data accuracy, and accessibility for the end user. In terms of its ease of use, the RAVEN911 system was designed to be as intuitive as possible. By tapping into the insights of prospective users from a variety of emergency disciplines in the early stages of system development, designers learned they could lessen the amount of time required to train (even those with little or no computer skills); and in turn negating initial and/or refresher training to the greatest extent possible. Secondly, data accuracy has; and will continue to be, a hallmark of the RAVEN911 system. All data has either verified either through contact with various agencies and/or field collection, and depending on the layer undergoes regular updating. It is the opinion of the RAVEN911 creators that accurate and timely data is the most critical component of the system; and without it, users would simply have no faith in RAVEN911’s true capabilities. Finally; in terms of accessibility, access is presently granted to any emergency provider within the following disciplines: fire and emergency medical services, law enforcement, hazardous materials, communications, public health, hosptitals, public works, emergency management and select private/non-profit partners who register with an agency email address (this allows for tracking, verification and updating of user profiles). In terms of equipment needs, RAVEN 911 presently requires: internet access, a Microsoft and Adobe Flash player enabled desk or laptop computer (pop-up blocker must be disabled). That said, a mobile version designed for use on any portable device with a 9” screen or better (iPads, Androids, and mobile mobile data computers [mdcs]) is currently under development with final delivery anticipated by mid-summer 2013. Since RAVEN911 has been funded entirely with grant monies from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (UASI, MMRS) as well as some federal highway funds, and in kind funding (Cincinnati Fire Department) there is no cost to the end user.