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Florida’s Jackson County Chooses DATAMARK to Solve NG9-1-1 GIS Challenges in Wake of Natural Disaster

August 27, 2019

DATAMARK solutions and services will support this rural county with significant addressing challenges following Hurricane Michael

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., August 27, 2019 – Rural Jackson County, Florida selected DATAMARK VEP for its geographic information systems (GIS) and Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) solution, along with technical services from DATAMARK in a $162,000 12-month contract, with annual renewal options. The public safety and GIS experts at DATAMARK will provide on-site training and implementation to the GIS stakeholders in the county. Jackson County is the fourth Florida county to select DATAMARK, following Manatee County in 2018, Washington County in June 2019, and Walton County  announced earlier today.

“As we recover from Hurricane Michael and begin advancing our technology to increase public safety, we’re relying on DATAMARK’s expertise in solving the addressing challenges affecting our ability to keep our community safe and move to NG9-1-1,” said Jeff Johnson, Director of E9-1-1 and Communications System, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. “We have only a part-time employee responsible for public safety GIS, but with DATAMARK’s software, training and services we can improve our street addressing issues and create high-quality, reliable GIS data that supports call takers in identifying reliable locations of our 9-1-1 callers to dispatch first responders. DATAMARK also provided us with sound advice and guidance in securing state grant money to fund the project.”

Because DATAMARK VEP does not require a GIS expert to upload, edit, and validate GIS data, all stakeholders can participate in the production of data regardless of GIS experience. This is a benefit to counties that are not able to support full-time GIS experts.

Hurricane Michael devastated a significant portion of Jackson County in October 2018, exacerbating the rural area’s complex addressing challenges. Street addressing in rural areas is often inconsistent or nonconforming, particularly with homes built prior to 2000 and with mobile homes, both of which are abundant in Jackson County.

The hurricane complicated the county’s street addressing challenges. After clearing more than six million cubic yards of debris, the true extent of damage is clearer. More than 10,000 residences were damaged by the storm, about 1,000 severely. The rebuilding process provides Jackson County an opportunity to improve street addressing and public safety GIS in several ways that will help the county long-term.

“Jackson County came to us with some challenges that we’re very experienced in solving,” said Luke Granlund, Business Development Advocate, DATAMARK. “After helping the county secure state grants, our team will now evaluate and assess workflows and the GIS address database for NG9-1-1 readiness. Then we’ll provide recommendations for the county’s road and addressing workflows from business process, technical and data architecture perspectives. After that’s complete, we will begin the complex task of working with the county to clean up the addressing data to ensure they have the highest quality GIS data to support public safety services.”

Granlund continued, “As a rural county with limited funding mechanisms, our customized project approach will enable Jackson County to transform their addressing and GIS data to meet NG9-1-1 standards and outline a sustainability plan that maximizes operational needs without significant financial impacts to the budget.”

The full scope of solutions and services DATAMARK will provide include the following:

  • DATAMARK® QAP (Quality Assurance Plan) – Assessing the current state of road and addressing workflows.
  • DATAMARK Clean-Up Support Services – A multi-step review and correction of anomalies identified in the readiness assessment.
  • DATAMARK ACE (Address Comparison and Evaluation) – Comparing master address sources to other sources containing address points (i.e., trash records, parcels, utility databases, etc.) and identifying address candidates not within the master address data source.
  • Boundary Workshops – Facilitating individual workshops between Jackson County and neighboring jurisdictions (including Walton County and Washington County) to discuss the placement of PSAP and Emergency Service Boundaries.
  • DATAMARK VEP (Validate-Edit-Provision) – An industry leading Software as a Service (SaaS) product that supports ongoing address point, centerline, MSAG, ALI comparisons, ETL, evaluation tools, dissolved boundary checks, and error/validation reporting of geometry, topology, and attribution.
  • Support – Available within the DATAMARK VEP interface, a user can access customer support help with questions about DATAMARK VEP.

By: Stephanie McCowat

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