The UNC Charlotte police department recently ran a training exercise to test a new app with hopes to improve communication and provide location-based information to officers in the case of emergencies. As told by the Charlotte Observer, the Effective Emergency Response Communication (EERC) System uses complete 3D-mapped models of the campus that lets the "command center" keep track of all the officers via Wi-Fi to efficiently guide them through buildings. By using the iPod touch app, police can also cut down the response time for medical help by marking the location of injured people.
According to Bill Ribarnsky, chairman of UNCC's computer science department and director of the Charlotte Visualization Center and and co-developer of the app, the path-finding technology was actually influenced by the tools used by colonoscopists. The project, which has been in development for about four years, is funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. UNC Charlotte also works with Homeland Security's National Visualization and Analytics Center to develop techniques and tools to prevent or identify potential terrorist attacks. Once complete, the federal government will have "full access" to the app, which may be sold to other universities for the same purpose.