2021-05-26

Hexagon Enhances Geocoding Capabilities, Connects to What3words to Boost Location Capabilities for Emergency Calls

Source: Hexagon

Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division has enhanced its geocoding capabilities and teamed with what3words to improve the ability of emergency services to locate and respond to those in need. The integration of Hexagon’s industry-leading public safety software with what3words’ location service will enable Hexagon’s customers to respond faster to emergencies when callers are unable to provide their exact location.

Accurate location data is vital for emergency response. However, fewer than 20 percent of emergency requests for service originate from landlines, resulting in fewer calls with precise location details. Hexagon’s new Geocoding Interface for its industry-leading computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solution, HxGN OnCall® Dispatch, connects to geocoding capabilities, including an out-of-the-box integration with what3words.

what3words divides the world into 57 trillion 3x3 metre squares, giving each square a new, simplified address made up of three random words. Through the integration, those calling for emergency assistance can explain their location by simply reading out the three words from what3words’ app. Emergency call-takers using Hexagon’s CAD system enter the what3words location, and Hexagon’s software reverse geo-codes the location to present matching addresses from the agency’s gazetteer to verify with the caller. The process is managed within the Hexagon software, which interfaces seamlessly with the what3words API.

The experience is simple and straightforward for emergency call-takers, who follow their normal location capture processes, while also helping to remove confusion and frustration for emergency callers. The integration also improves information sharing between emergency services with different systems when hand-off is required, as a what3words address is unambiguous.