Pennsylvania takes the back roads

Even with money due to state and local governments from the Homeland Security Department for first responder needs, it's unlikely there will be a wholesale push to spend funds on multimedia communications networks.

Another way to develop such networks is to back into them. That's the route the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is taking. The department is expected to finish the testing phase for deployment of a portable geographic information system (GIS) by the end of this month.

The system, which uses personal digital assistant devices and Intergraph Corp.'s GIS applications, will be used to map new roads built by various municipalities. The system is needed, said Sandra Renninger, a PennDOT administrative officer, because a portion of the state gas tax goes to municipalities to maintain their roads and streets. That portion is based in part on how many miles of roads the jurisdiction has.

"We have all of the state roads mapped but nowhere near to a complete picture of all of the local roads," she said.

The new system could also be the start of a statewide first responder

network.

"We don't know how it will all tie in yet, but we are hoping we can use this to get into an infrastructure management type of program with the municipalities," Renninger said. "And that's what will

lead into all of the homeland security aspects."

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.