Iberia Parish Reduces Response Times With More Accurate GIS

Nestled in the heart of Cajun Country you will find Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Home to over 73,000 people, Iberia Parish is strategically situated on the Gulf of Mexico between New Orleans and Houston. The parish covers over 1,000 square miles, with almost half of that being water. The Iberia Parish 9-1-1 Communications District takes providing emergency services seriously. So, in early 2010 they committed to a GIS project to develop accurate roads and address point data for the Parish.

iberia parish

Iberia Parish’s map data was guiding responders to within approximately 50-100 yards of an emergency caller. While this was relatively close to the caller, it was not always easy to locate the caller, making it feel like it was taking longer to respond to those in need. Iberia Parish’s goal was for caller location accuracy to increase so responders could pinpoint where help was needed and get there faster.
Iberia Parish worked with GeoComm to update the accuracy of their GIS data for emergency response. GeoComm’s project team completed the following services:

  • Road Centerline Layer Field Collection and GIS Updates
  • Emergency Service Zone (ESZ) Boundary Layer Updates
  • Address Point Layer Development
  • Address Assessment
  • GIS Data Maintenance Workflow Development and Training

To begin improving the location accuracy of Iberia Parish’s maps, GeoComm’s GIS staff collected a GPS stream for all the roads in Iberia Parish and collected GPS points for all the habitable structures on those roads. Fieldworkers noted the street name and visible house numbers for the habitable structures. After the field collection was complete, GeoComm used the collected points to update and enhance Iberia Parish’s road centerline layer. These updates ensured that addresses plotted on the correct side of an intersection, in the correct ESZ, and in the correct community.

“GeoComm was a crucial partner as Iberia Parish upgraded our 911 dispatch maps and established a Parish GIS program. GeoComm’s knowledge of public safety mapping requirements and effective project management helped us better understand many opportunities to improve our work flows and effectiveness. In comparing our addressing work to the GeoComm street layer, we found that their field work was very accurate and thorough, mapping private roads we were not aware of” Prescott Marshall, 9-1-1 Director Iberia Parish.

Throughout the field collection process, GeoComm completed an address assessment review of all the incorporated and unincorporated addresses in Iberia Parish. This assessment identified addressable structures that did not fit in with the addressing scheme of the surrounding structures or specific industry based addressing guidelines. These guidelines ensure that odd and even house numbers are consistently on the same side of the road, the sequencing scheme is always consistent, and that addresses are not stacked or used multiple times; all critical data quality for plotting emergency calls on a map. The address assessment report was given to Iberia Parish for review and for targeting areas in the Parish that are candidates for potential readdressing.

Once fieldwork was complete, GeoComm updated the GIS data attributes and spatial accuracy using the provided resources of Master Street Address Guide (MSAG), Automatic Location Information (ALI) database, and through communication with Iberia Parish emergency management personnel. Once the attributes were updated, GeoComm submitted the final maps to Iberia Parish to be reviewed and approved before loading them into the Parish’s 9-1-1 System.