Emergency Phones:  A Google Earth Approach
Sandra L. Arlinghaus
Download Google Earth
Download kmz files to open in Google Earth:

Maps of emergency telephone networks are naturally important:  public safety is enhanced when the local population knows where to look for a systematically distributed network of phones.  Recent 3D software offers one way to enhance transmission of information.  Thus, in this note, locations for campus emergency phones at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, are cast in Google Earth.  Indeed, given Ann Arbor's recent ranking as the most "pedestrian friendly" city in Michigan [Ann Arbor.com], such networks become all the more important in ensuring that "friendliness"!

Take a look at the screen captures below.  Figure 1 shows the distribution of emergency phones across the entire campus; each phone is positioned, approximately, using the map that appeared in the recent campus safety handbook.  Individual phones are represented by light cyan balloon placemarks that will shrink in size as one zooms in within the .kmz file.  Load in buildings from Archimedes in the Google Earth 3D Warehouse and take a look at phone location in relations to buildings (Figure 2).  Navigate the 3D scene in Google Earth by loading the .kmz file above and create your own scenes as you familiarize yourself with phone locations.

Figure 1.  Distribution of emergency phones on the Ann Arbor campus of The University of Michigan.

Figure 2.  Emergency phones and 3D buildings.

Emergency phone networks and various locational strategies for determining where to put them have been an object of research interest for many years [Arlinghaus; O'Kelley] and of general interest by scholars [Moellering].  What is exciting here is to consider the role that enhanced visualization might offer to such projects as well as to note its natural public benefit.



Solstice:  An Electronic Journal of Geography and Mathematics
Volume XX, Number 2
Institute of Mathematical Geography (IMaGe).
All rights reserved worldwide, by IMaGe and by the authors.
Please contact an appropriate party concerning citation of this article: sarhaus@umich.edu

Solstice was a Pirelli INTERNETional Award Semi-Finalist, 2001 (top 80 out of over 1000 entries worldwide)

One article in Solstice was a Pirelli INTERNETional Award Semi-Finalist, 2003 (Spatial Synthesis Sampler).

Solstice is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals maintained by the University of Lund where it is maintained as a "searchable" journal.

Solstice is listed on the journals section of the website of the American Mathematical Society, http://www.ams.org/
Solstice is listed in Geoscience e-Journals
IMaGe is listed on the website of the Numerical Cartography Lab of The Ohio State University:  http://ncl.sbs.ohio-state.edu/4_homes.html

Congratulations to all Solstice contributors.

1964 Boulder Drive,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104