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  1. #1
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    Default Mapping Software

    Im a Asst Chief in a small fire dept and one of the things thats really handy is a map of our district so when the call goes out we can look for the road and house number and see exactly where the house is saving time now does anybody know of a program to draw road maps and map our district thanks
    gene


  2. #2
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    have you tried Microsoft Map Point (there is a home version called streets I think)
    BUB

  3. #3
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Default

    Just purchased DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2008 Plus (mainly for laptop GPS). But this program will also let you edit the maps that come with it and print them out. It will probably take a while, but I plan to make a more thorough set of maps of our area with this program.

    Microsoft has one called Streets & Trips 2007. I am sure that there are others out there also.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firepuppy View Post
    Im a Asst Chief in a small fire dept and one of the things thats really handy is a map of our district so when the call goes out we can look for the road and house number and see exactly where the house is saving time now does anybody know of a program to draw road maps and map our district thanks
    gene
    I would hope your people know the streets and what not. Try as mentioned mapquest. IT might take a couple of pages but you should beable to get it. You might need to put addresses on there maybe at intersections and other important info that you feel is needed.

  5. #5
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    Are you computerized already? Our dept. uses Red Alert. Its a whole fire based program. We use it for our dispatch log, fuel log, repair requests, in house closed circuit tv(shows last twenty calls, locations of all trucks, location of current alarms and announcements of upcoming events and standbys) and finally it was installed with the map of our district and the four surronding districts we mutual aid the most. I highly recommend the system.
    Our newest pumper has a gps, just type the adress and it comes up on the screen. We also just found out that its WI-FI so if we are near a wireless source we can log onto the internet .

  6. #6
    Forum Member pletch's Avatar
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    Default let me find out

    we used a program from scratch that had pre placed maps but allowed up to input types of house (trailer, house, or other...?). let me find out for ya, if worked great for us.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    Default

    Well unless you have laptop computers mounted in your trucks then I donít see how this will work. Maybe you should invest in GPS systems, the good ones like TomTom, or Garmin. I think in Garmins it even gives you the option to set it to emergency vehicles. I have a TomTom and it gets me to a lot of places out in the county, even to roads I didnít even know existed, haha.

    Another thing I would suggest is a simple map book. What you do is take a map of the city and break each section down into grids, then take each grid and blow it up to regular paper size and put all of those into a binder. Then in the front you list all of the streets and which grid they are in. Then you simply flip to that grid and it shows you where the street is.

    Another thing you may want to do is simply give you drivers a map and tell them to study it and give them a week to study all of the streets. After a week you test them on street locations.

    If you do live in a small town then it shouldnít be that hard to remember where streets are. But like where I am where the county is 500+ square miles and 6 protection districts then that is a lot of roads to know.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber XRaysJL's Avatar
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    Arrow Mapping

    I am "Computer literate". Here's what worked for me:

    I went on Google.com and clicked on their maps link. I brought it into my area and zoomed in to a good scale (Magnification). I then saved the map onto my computer.

    I kept doing this of all the maps in my area.

    I have a pain program that I can use to edit images.

    I used this program to peice all of the images together like a puzzle to make a mosaic and one large map.

    I then saved the map as is.

    Also what I did was I printed all of the maps from Google.com and I keep them in my metal binder and keep the binder in my truck.

    My maps from Google.com has already helped me on 2 calls.

  9. #9
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    I am a big fan of if you don't know your area and need to look at a map to find out where you are going, you best not be driving.

  10. #10
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire0099881 View Post
    I am a big fan of if you don't know your area and need to look at a map to find out where you are going, you best not be driving.

    You must have a really small area. Also, have you memorized all the roads in your MA areas?

    Plus....it doesn't hurt to have maps on hand to refresh your memory from time to time.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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  11. #11
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    Default

    Originally Posted by fire0099881
    I am a big fan of if you don't know your area and need to look at a map to find out where you are going, you best not be driving.


    You must have a really small area. Also, have you memorized all the roads in your MA areas?

    Plus....it doesn't hurt to have maps on hand to refresh your memory from time to time.
    I agree, our first due has one development with a very confusing road layout. To compound that, the county CAD system will often give an incorrect cross street. While I agree that all drivers should know the basics of their first due, and second due, in our case knowing specific street addresses and hydrant locations is too much to ask without a map. I still check the map book before I leave the station, even if I'm "sure" of the street location.

    We carry ADC map books in all apparatus to get us to the street. We also have a map book of the first due. These are hand drawn and organized by box area. They show the house numbers as well as the location of hydrants and drafting locations.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber XRaysJL's Avatar
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    Cool Small area?

    Quote Originally Posted by fire0099881 View Post
    I am a big fan of if you don't know your area and need to look at a map to find out where you are going, you best not be driving.
    This works fine is your area is VERY small rural area. And it also works if you are not expanding your coverage area. About the only way I can see that working for a large area is if you were raised growing up in that particular area. I think it would be unreasonable to expect a person to memorise every street in a city.

    There are just too many exceptions to that statement.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    You must have a really small area. Also, have you memorized all the roads in your MA areas?

    Plus....it doesn't hurt to have maps on hand to refresh your memory from time to time.
    well if you look at the original question it say's in "our" district, which I would take it as your first due area, I would expect the people to atleast know that area. But if you are asking if I know our mutual aids area also, as a matter of fact yes I do know them. and no our area isn't small, covering over 300 sq. miles with our mutual aid depts. also. I alway's want to smack the people that I hear go enroute in a truck and then a few mins later have to ask how do I get there!

  14. #14
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fire0099881 View Post
    well if you look at the original question it say's in "our" district, which I would take it as your first due area, I would expect the people to atleast know that area. But if you are asking if I know our mutual aids area also, as a matter of fact yes I do know them. and no our area isn't small, covering over 300 sq. miles with our mutual aid depts. also. I alway's want to smack the people that I hear go enroute in a truck and then a few mins later have to ask how do I get there!
    I am glad that you know your stuff. Did you learn your area by reading the maps, or did you drive around until you memorized all the roads? The whole point here is that the OP needed to know about making maps of his area. This way, they might be able to learn their area. Plus on the occasional "brain fart", you can look at the map.

    I agree with the fact that you should NEVER leave your station without knowing where you are going (whether you are going from memory or looking at a map).
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire0099881 View Post
    well if you look at the original question it say's in "our" district, which I would take it as your first due area, I would expect the people to atleast know that area. But if you are asking if I know our mutual aids area also, as a matter of fact yes I do know them. and no our area isn't small, covering over 300 sq. miles with our mutual aid depts. also. I alway's want to smack the people that I hear go enroute in a truck and then a few mins later have to ask how do I get there!
    So what you're saying is that you know every road in your 300 sq miles? I doubt it. I grew up in my "district" which has one station so it all first due, and this area is just under 340 sq. miles. Sure I know a lot of roads because I grew up here, do I know them all, or where addresses are? Nope.

    Our service are for the Rescue Squad is about half of our county so it's definately not possible to know it all.

    As for the question, we are working on getting a Garmin system. I've seen them in the rigs that we intercept with. They work quite well.
    Last edited by guardo83; 08-08-2007 at 02:02 AM.

  16. #16
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Software

    I would suggest purchasing DeLorme 3D TOPO map, or DeLorme Topo USA. They both have excellent DRAW features which would allow you to print maps with roads, terrain, streams, rivers, and add MAPNOTES as you see fit.

    They are easy to use, provide excellent online support...you can't go wrong. I have used the program for my wildland firefighting purposes and am very pleased.

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  17. #17
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    Well unless you have laptop computers mounted in your trucks then I donít see how this will work. Maybe you should invest in GPS systems, the good ones like TomTom, or Garmin. I think in Garmins it even gives you the option to set it to emergency vehicles. I have a TomTom and it gets me to a lot of places out in the county, even to roads I didnít even know existed, haha.
    I can't speak for Garmin, but we have put Tom-Tom's in all of our rigs (ambulance and fire). I have had several time that it tried to send me the wrong way. Specific addresses were up to 1/2 mile off. I found that they would get you to the street, but not necessarily the correct address. We have since updated the maps, but I lost confidence in them and went back to the old paper books. If you decide to go that way, I suggest that you get 1 as a sample and make sure they do what you want.

  18. #18
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    Thumbs up

    We use GIS (geographic information systems) to produce maps for our first due area and the two neighboring areas to which we render mutual aide the most.

    I have attached a copy of a page from our most current map book. In the past we have used Visio (a technical drawing program published by Microsoft, often used for pre-plans) to create a local map. After I became aware of GIS and was able to use it in my day job, I learned how to use it to create this map for our fire department.

    We had to get the GIS data from our property appraiser, city water utility, the E-911 office and some other places. We combined that with data we had already and used a Map Book Processing Option that is free with a purchase of the ESRI ArcDesktop product.

    Let me know if you have further questions.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Forum Member ghost62's Avatar
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    Default

    Personally I went to the trouble to learn every road in our 100 sq mi area first by reading the map but then by driving it.even with that I verify with a map each call. most of the gps systems out there are actuallu pretty accurate but do have flaws. even the computerizied maps miss the mark sometimes. Even sometimes find paper/book maps are not always accurate 100%. find which is best for you and incorperate it, then keep a book/paper map and have officer verify as you go. nothing worse than going to the wrong area in your district because a gps, computer, ect glitch or your memory has failed at a critical time. trust but verify. if you have studied the book/paper map and verified it is correct you are ready no matter what. Remember that if the gps,or computer crashes enroute and you dont have a backup you are going to be the one calling in for directions.
    Hope that helps.
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  20. #20
    Permanently Removed hoseheadmaps's Avatar
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    Default map books and pc's

    you can have the best of both worlds using a cadd program i create 11 x17 maps and convert them into PDF's which i print out for run books (2- 8.5 x 11) pages and the 11 x 17 stays on the computer. it can be set-up so all you have to do is click on the street your going to and the proper maps comes up on the screen. it works well for mutual aid companies because an overall map is made and they can get their bearings then click on the proper box which their going then the map comes up. high risk maps (schools,apts,churches etc..) can also be linked using adobe pdfs.

    GPS is not as reliable as one would hope. On my way home last year I was with a friend in a new bmw with gps, He was showing me how great it was. We turned into my condo development and the only street that appeared was the main loop. the development was constructed 14 years ago.

    as for the comment about paper maps they ARE only as good as the information provided that's true, but i've been told that re-doing maps is the hardest project a company can under take. They are told to cross every (T) and dot every (I) - look for weight limit/height bridges, one way streets, hydrants with no steamer connections, and houses with access that pose a danger to apparatus ie: long narrow driveways, driveways with unknown weight limits on bridges over storm pipes/small streams etc........
    but any correction can be fixed with-in 24 hours and the map is as good as gold.

    as for the guy using google earth, unless you have paid them for their info - it's called copywrite infringment, so don't put your companies name on your post.
    Last edited by hoseheadmaps; 10-14-2007 at 08:04 AM.

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