Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pushing a Rope Up a Hill...In the Rain

The title of this post is how Florida based U.S. National Grid (USNG) advocate Lt. Al Studt of the Cape Canaveral Fire Department would describe the process of trying to get his state's response community to use USNG for location referencing. While participating in a hurricane response several years back, it became apparent to Lt. Studt that the response community was ineffective in their ability to communicate location in a landscape that had been left devoid of known landmarks.  Since that time, Lt. Studt has become one of the nation's most outspoken critics about the current lack of a standardized way to communicate emergency/disaster location information in both his state and the nation. A situation which exists despite the Florida Fire Marshal designating USNG as the language of location for the state's responders back in 2006, and the National Search and Rescue Committee (NSARC) making USNG the mandatory geo-referencing system for all SAR efforts on land in late 2011. Florida Today reports on the resistance to change in Florida and across the U.S.:
(Florida Today, June 2, 2013)

Comment: It's hard to take any official seriously when they attempt to claim the reason they haven't adopted the U.S. National Grid is because it costs too much. Really? Exactly how? The U.S. National Grid is nonproprietary, map books have to be printed anyway, the USGS publishes free USNG maps for the entire U.S., there is no increased level of education required, and USNG functionality can be made a performance item in next Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) contract (alternately, you can get the capability for free, right now). So help me out here, what am I missing other than it's easier to leave things like they are?
Photo credit: maggielr.com

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