Project Abstract

The purpose of this project is to develop a complete mobile system for 3D routing, emergency response, and evacuation in large urban buildings. Mobile clients (e.g., iPhones) carrying their own 3D maps of buildings can report their positions, route blockages, and other information to a central server which immediately broadcasts pertinent information to other mobile units and provides overall situation awareness to the commander. Police officers or emergency personnel using the mobile device can find shortest or best routes, taking into account blockages, or see their positions with respect to other mobile units.

To support these capabilities a 3D address geocoding extension has been developed. Automated methods extract 3D route graphs from building CAD files. Building layout drawings or – walk the route – methods can also be used to build the 3D route graph. Locations and attributes of rooms, hallways, elevators, and stairways are attached to the graphs. The 3D route graphs are embedded in the surrounding 2D street network so that a complete application for a whole urban area can be built. All is placed in an open-source PostGres GIS/SQL database for efficient, scalable access and use. An interactive visualization interface for both the server and the mobile device permits rapid focus, selection, and route planning while retaining overall context.

The mobile system is being developed with the assistance of police departments for eventual deployment and use. The project is funded by the Department of Justice through the National Institute of Justice.