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  • Google Software

    Does anyone else here use it or have any experience with it? I'm talking all of it or any of it. Earth, Apps, Wave?

    Our department was given a license for Google Apps to manage our scheduling and email by the Google Apps team in Washington DC as part of a program of theirs to get more small government entities using it. Apparently it's a major part of the Cities of Los Angeles, Washington DC, Canton Georgia, and others. I have personally found the Calendar to be endlessly useful to our small service and it's impossible and rhythm-less schedule. I saw a special on Google on TV a few months back and DCFD has a custom version of Google Earth that they run everything through. They referenced preplans, dead hydrants, historical call volume, etc. I've been using it to get our department started in GIS and found it's got enough functionality, I would consider replacing the map on our bay wall with a large touchscreen display displaying Google Earth 24/7. I've used it to map road closures, dry hydrant locations, I'm trying to learn more. I know I'm not using this to its fullest potential; I'm sure I can GPS track resources and view in real-time location for priority dispatching, etc.

    Does anyone else have any experience with Apps, Wave, or Earth? I'd love to hear from anyone at all who uses any of these products but if the Deputy Chief from DCFD that did the MSNBC interview could reply, I'd be set!

    Note to Mods or anyone who noticed: Maybe this is a more appropriate place to post this. Sorry about possible irrelevancy in Administration Forum. Please contact me if you have any concerns.

  • #2
    I've done a little bit of playing around with the Google Maps API. It's pretty easy and well documented. I haven't messed around with any of the other apps other then their Calendar for personal use.

    Google Earth Pro will import in ESRI shapefiles and KML files. The regular Google Earth only does KML so you'd have to use another program to convert ESRI to KML. Either way you can import any GIS layers you have.. hydrants, LZ's..etc. Theoretically the layers could be updated automatically for dead hydrants or road closures.. You could also use the plugins to integrate various vehicle location systems..
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

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    • #3
      What if...

      The map on the wall line scared me. I'm in Public Safety Telecommunications. As useful as all these GIS tools are, please remember there's a lot of technology that has to work perfectly to bring them to you. PLEASE keep that old map on the wall, just the Google Earth display next to it. And keep the map book in the truck too. And a pen and old forms. You get the idea.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RayVaughan View Post
        The map on the wall line scared me. I'm in Public Safety Telecommunications. As useful as all these GIS tools are, please remember there's a lot of technology that has to work perfectly to bring them to you. PLEASE keep that old map on the wall, just the Google Earth display next to it. And keep the map book in the truck too. And a pen and old forms. You get the idea.
        And the HORSES.. don't forget the horses! Those Internal Combustion-thingies will never catch on.
        So you call this your free country
        Tell me why it costs so much to live
        -3dd

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        • #5
          You might look into getting Google email accounts for each of your people. It's a great way to keep those Google calenders in sync and get more out of your department domain name.

          Another Google tool that you might look into is Google Voice. It would allow you to send free SMS/MMS messages to your entire group, as well as other voice related services.

          We have used Google Talk with video a few times for video conferencing between stations using two PC's also.

          __

          A word about Google replacing your local IT also... While it is true that a lot of things have to come together to make a system work right, Google's services are up pretty much all the time. That being said, would I rely on Google Earth as my primary mapping software? Nope, not a chance. Not necessarily because a possible failure with Google, but more due to all the other links in the chain once the data leaves the mighty Goog's servers...
          FireOps.net - Let your Fire Geek Show

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Naegling View Post
            That being said, would I rely on Google Earth as my primary mapping software? Nope, not a chance. Not necessarily because a possible failure with Google, but more due to all the other links in the chain once the data leaves the mighty Goog's servers...
            I think you mean maps.google.com, not Google Earth. As far as I know Google Earth can be installed locally so that it can function even if your connection to the Internet fails.
            So you call this your free country
            Tell me why it costs so much to live
            -3dd

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