Indoor Intelligence and Emergency Preparedness - How Indoor Maps Save Lives

May 21, 2019 by Trish Sissons
Read in 4 Minutes

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about emergencies - many even go so far as to actively avoid thinking about them - but when the worst happens, the effects of one’s emergency preparedness efforts (or lack thereof) will be felt to their fullest. It is at these times that the importance of indoor maps for large, complex buildings is felt significantly. Indeed, there are many instances in which indoor maps can make all the difference to personal safety, and potentially save lives.

At the most basic level, knowing where a building’s exits and muster stations are located is helpful when evacuations are necessary, as in the case of fires or earthquakes. By having employee or guest services apps with accurate maps in them, people can quickly use their own personal devices to guide themselves out of the building by the quickest route. With an IPS-enabled blue dot experience, this process can be personalized and expedient. As is always the case with indoor maps, accuracy is key. If your maps aren’t up-to-date, it not only presents an inconvenience in terms of day-to-day user interactions, it also becomes extremely problematic in emergency situations.

“Having up-to-date floor plans is a critical piece of any facility Emergency Plan, including accurate evacuation routes and assembly places,” explains Emergency Management Specialist, Sarah Thompson. “They are always a vital component of Fire Safety Plans, which are often required by local fire codes, but are vital for preparedness for any hazard.”

Maintaining Map Accuracy

Maintaining accurate maps can be a daunting task, especially for large facilities. From controlling the distribution of updates to managing the views for different user types, it can take a lot of effort to effectively manage maps. It’s recommended that you use an indoor mapping platform to maintain a Single Source of Truth map and use its Map Profile function to add ease to efficiency. By designating a single set of maps as your Single Source of Truth, there is no wondering about which version is the most up-to-date. Furthermore, Map Profiles enable organizations to show different map views to different types of users.

Anytime there are changes to your space, you can make those updates to your indoor mapping platform, then leverage the map format exchange utility to export CAD-friendly maps of your buildings that are uniform enterprise-wide. These updates can then be distributed to your local fire department and emergency responders, providing an easy way to stay compliant and manage emergency preparedness easily.

Emergency Innovation

Beyond compliance, the IoT industry is innovating with location-aware technologies to create enhanced, digital emergency response services. Open platform architectures and integrations between indoor mapping providers and emergency and physical security companies are enabling the use of real-time location services to address the worst-case scenarios in large scale buildings like hospitals, corporate campuses, airports and more. When exploring indoor mapping solutions for your facility, it is prudent that you work with software providers and technology partners who are technology-agnostic and have open APIs that allow for seamless integration with security and emergency response services.

Trish is the Digital Marketing Manager at Inpixon. When she’s not digging into all things digital, you’ll find her playing in the great outdoors, running her book club, crafting, or boarding a plane heading somewhere sunny.