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Texas A&M Corpus Christi's app to help emergency personnel - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Texas A&M Corpus Christi's app to help emergency personnel

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A new app unveiled Friday at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is expected to become a major benefit to emergency response agencies.

It's called SituMap. It's an app that connects real-time data to first responders quickly and easily.

"So SituMap is all about the idea of being able to expedite the process of generating these maps and getting our first responders out to the field as quickly as possible," said Sam Allred, a recent graduate of TAMUCC and now the software development coordinator at CartoFusion Technologies.

The app has several functions. Just like Google Maps, police and firefighters can use it to search for locations. Emergency responders can then flag certain obstacles in the area and formulate a plan around them.

"Say there was a car crash," explained app creator Dr. Richard Smith, an assistant professor at TAMUCC. "So how am I going to manage something as simple as traffic? We have to make sure people can safely move around that, so then we can add things like a police car, say 'I want your police car here.'"

All of that data is then sent to other smartphones, tablets, and a digital "command center."

"Here in just a few seconds, we now have a basic plan of action and this can be done in the field or back in the operations center," said Smith.

The app can also be customized, so police and firefighters can upload blueprints and even drone images, in addition to traffic information.

"We want it to work in-situation, in real time," said Smith.

CartoFusion Technologies, who's backing the app, is still gathering user feedback. They haven't yet determined how much it will cost, but it could be available for commercial use within the next six months.

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