If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that it seems that if there is one application more than any other that Virtual Earth is being RAPIDLY adopted for, it is probably Crisis Management and Emergency First Response. Emergency managers and responders appreciate the common operational picture that Virtual Earth provides and the ability to rapidly develop applications that allow visualization of emergency scenarios, live incident reporting, and collaboration around maps that can be quickly and broadly distributed across various agencies and users, including the public.

Our friends at Ordia Solutions*are making news around just such an application, their Virtual Earth powered Mobile Tactical Collaboration System. The system is a map driven solution that allows collaboration between multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary first responders such as police, fire and rescue, and other emergency managers to visualize and analyze*critical situations and to coordinate command and control. MTCS integrates Virtual Earth maps with collaborative software tools,*advanced GIS tools and*voice-over-IP for real-time incident reporting, communications, the sharing of photos and videos, and map annotations*through shared workspaces. Like most Virtual Earth applications, it is delivered via a web browser and MTCS runs on mobile wireless information devices mounted inside emergency vehicles. Screenshot of the application below.

In a related piece of news today, Ordia is joining forces with Defywire to extend the capabilities of MTCS to deliver a solution for public safety for the nationís colleges and universities, by integrating MTCS with Defywire's student-focused Mobile Guardian (TM) Safety Suite. Read that article here.

Given this story and the*recent news (posted here on this blog) about the Commonwealth of Virginia partnership with Microsoft to leverage Virtual Earth for public safety on campus,*I'm encouraged to believe*that Virtual Earth is becoming the mapping platform of choice for this important type of application.

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