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DHS’ Dan Cotter: Smart City, Public Safety Tech Should Incorporate Geospatial Data

GeocodingDan Cotter, director of the first responders group within the Department of Homeland Security‘s science and technology directorate, has said public sector agencies should incorporate geospatial data in smart city and emergency response technologies.

DHS said Tuesday Cotter joined a panel discussion on how geospatial data can support smart city initiatives on Sept. 28 at the Smart Cities Week convention in Washington.

“Public safety is actually a subset of ‘Smart Cities,’ and what we’re going about is essentially interoperability,” Cotter said.

Wearable technology that feature geospatial data can help connect first responders to the environment of the area of operations, DHS noted.

FRG currently develops the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove and it could incorporate geospatial data or embedded microcomputers with sensors in the future to help firefighters control devices in a hands-free manner or detect potential hazards, according to Cotter.

Internet of Things connectivity could also support the development and use of geospatial data through sensors, devices and analytics that could provide cities with a wide range of information, DHS said.

S&T allotted $10 million to develop IoT sensor-based tools that will work to assist emergency planners during decision-making scenarios such as evacuations due to floods.

Cotter noted FRG eyes low-cost sensors that can be deployed ahead of floods to control how and when to send public alerts and warnings to prevent people from driving or walking into flooded areas.

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