Heart and Soul.
The heart and soul of OnScene Xplorer mapping and pre-planning software is…well the mapping! The best mapping software in the world is worthless unless the data is good. That is why we do the mapping for you. After all, it’s a pretty safe bet you need your staff to focus on fighting fires, catching bad guys, or intubating patients…not becoming GIS Techs (Geographic Information Systems). However, we love mapping data. We eat, breathe and sleep mapping data.
Where do we get the mapping data?
Where ever we can my friend. Whenever a customer comes on board with our OnScene Xplorer software in a new area, we contact the local county or city mapping departments to gather whatever data is available. If no data is available, we turn to other public sources of data and begin there. Most of the time we have to do a little “shake-n-bake” to get the mapping data ready for you to use. And sometimes we have to create some of the layers “from scratch”.
What about updates?
It goes without saying; mapping data is only as good as the day it was captured. Tomorrow will bring changes and you need to have those changes in your OnScene Xplorer mapping software. The OnScene Xplorer software includes automatic mapping data (and software) updates. For most areas we schedule quarterly mapping updates. When your area is ready for an update, the first thing we do is contact you. Yeah, that makes sense doesn’t it? You know what’s going on in your neighborhood. So we ask you if you know of any changes. Then we contact the local mapping departments and get a new cut of data. We update our master data base and then post them to our update server. Your OnScene Xplorer software checks our server for changes, if there are changes; it downloads and installs them…even while you are working. The beauty of the system is we only send you want has changed.
I guess from the above you can tell that we don’t use one of those big national mapping data vendors like MapQuest or Yahoo or Apple. Those big guys like to schedule their update every couple of years. And if you live in a more rural area, well they may never get to your area to make updates. We use local data that has local knowledge, and then keep it up to date. Plain and simple.
The Power of Map Styles!
Our tagline is “a map is worth a thousand words!” and we mean that. Just as it is important to have good, up-to-date mapping data, you also need to have the maps look good on the screen too. And that means both during the day and at night. OnScene Xplorer has a very flexible mapping system to give you a lot of control over how the map looks. We do the heavy lifting for you and provide beautiful default map styles for day and night. Custom maps styles are easy to create and we’ll help you learn how to do it. But if messing with computer files makes you a little squeamish, we’ll make custom styles for you. Just ask.
See a Mapping Update in Action:
Recently a rail yard was relocated here in Lancaster, PA. Once the work was completed, we entered the mapping changes into our master database and pushed an update to customers. Below is a short video showing how the update works in OSX. Please note that typically the user does not have to use the “Data Update Check” function as it should be configured to happen automatically, but we did it for the video.