Smart mapping technology, also known as Geographic Information System (GIS), have been widely used by many of the world's leading public safety and national security agencies as a crime-fighting tool, according to Carl Walter, an international expert on law enforcement and intelligence from geospatial giant Esri.
Walter, who is in Singapore for the Global Security Asia conference, noted that while many of the region's public safety agencies already use the technology, it still held untapped potential for strengthening local security.
"GIS is a proven technology that already underpins the planning and development of many of the world's emerging smart cities - including Singapore - and it continuously assists in improving the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of services and programs under health, public safety, and national security among others," he said.
GIS integrates and analyses data from multiple business systems to create a dynamic and interactive map-based view of information. This enables law enforcement agencies to quickly identify communities of interest, crime hotspots, investigate crime patterns, uncover trends, and respond to emergency situations in the most efficient way possible.
Furthermore, it provides agencies with a collaborative platform that enables them to break down silos and work together by sharing authoritative actionable information across the organisation anytime, anywhere.
According to Walter, law enforcement agencies such as the police departments in Boston and Los Angeles, US Department of Homeland Security, as well as other major police forces in the region, are already reaping the benefits of having smart mapping capabilities.
"Having such capability in place enables the entire police force to leverage the city's connected infrastructure - such as CCTVs and sensors - to orchestrate their efforts and determine how best they can respond to an incident, strategically mobilise their resources and if possible, prevent untoward incidents from happening," he said.
"By using this technology to take a smarter approach to public safety and security, not only will agencies be able to make significant progress in reducing crime, they will also provide communities with a greater sense of safety, security and quality of life," he added.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.