Feds Aim to Standardize Geographic Information Systems Across the 911 Landscape


A new solicitation offers a glimpse into the next generation of 911.

Geographic information system or GIS data is a core element of the modernization initiative to move America’s go-to dial-in service for emergencies from legacy systems to Next Generation 911, or NG911

As highlighted in a solicitation recently published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, emergency responders will eventually lean more on specific location data to quickly reach callers in need. Right now, however, the U.S.’ thousands of existing 911 call centers don’t connect via one consistent GIS system—and they are also generally lacking a mechanism for sharing that soon-to-be-crucial location-based data.

The National 911 Program falls under NHTSA’s Emergency Medical Services Office. Through the newly posted 62-page opportunity, the agency details the broader vision to upgrade the infrastructure and articulates its aims. 

Specifically, NHTSA intends to partner with a contractor that can “produce a document that includes the current status of GIS within the national 911 community, challenges to national uniformity and 911 GIS data sharing, and strategies to achieve truly interoperable GIS data sharing nationwide.”

Responses are due by July 19. 

The 911 of the future will allow the transmission of voice, photos, videos, and text messages directly from the public to the response network.