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When it comes to highly specialized and potentially hazardous industries, such as transportation, mining, or emergency services, there’s no argument that being able to communicate quickly across huge distances is essential. In the event of an emergency, for example, keeping channels of communication open is vital for making sure people are well cared for and get the support they need. 

However, while the ability to talk to one another is amongst the highest priorities, accurately knowing where each person is located, is also key. Being able to pinpoint precisely where a signal is coming from will reduce response time, and possibly mean the difference between life and death. That’s why any organization needs the right mapping and location services, running in tandem with digital radio systems. With digital technologies making it easier than ever to access effective mapping and navigation from almost any modern device, building that same functionality into a communications solution is now easy. That said, choosing the best location services for an organization can present a few challenging options. 

 

Finding the Best Location Services Provider

In the context of a digital radio platform, location services provide the interface between each individual radio unit and their place on the map. Integrating this feature into a dispatch solution allows users to more easily track their workforce and assets, and maintain better oversight of their operations.

The difficulty with integration lies in knowing exactly what your organization needs, and which additional features might be worth paying for. Location service providers are likely to have a range of payment models for you to choose from, including: 

 

  • One-off fee based on the number of radios or viewer licences on your network
  • Annual or monthly subscription fee based on the number of radios or viewer licences
  • Flat-rate annual subscription fee
  • A combination of the above

 

 

Location Services have come a long way in the digital age
As you can see, there is a range of choices available that can make the process considerably more complicated than it needs to be. As is the case with most technology integration, however, keeping it simple is usually the best option.
Starting with the GPS Essentials package – which comes as standard with our RediTALK-Flex, altusomni and omnicore dispatch consoles – your organization will benefit from basic radio location, ID and status of your users.
For added functionality, a once-off fee can upgrade you to Advanced Location Services, offering a more powerful GPS solution that allows users to create geofences, monitor radio locations and track historic routes, with support for an array of mapping solutions.

 

Choosing the Best Mapping Provider

Which brings us to the next area to consider – mapping. There are a number of providers you may have heard of for this service, from household names such as Google Maps to less well-known outfits like OpenStreetMaps and MapQuest.
Your choice of mapping provider will again depend on your organization’s specific needs. A free-to-use solution like OpenStreetMaps may have all of your needs covered. Meanwhile, the sheer size of Google’s operation means it is able to deliver the most complete package possible, so integrating its API into your dispatch platform may be the right choice.

Should you opt for the Google API, you will need to purchase a Maps for Work licence. How much that will cost you is dependent on the amount of use the system will get.

Whichever mapping provider you choose, Omnitronics RediTALK-Flex and altusomni and omnicore Dispatch Consoles can handle the integration, even if you wish to use your own custom maps. Speak to us today about getting the best location services and maps for your dispatch solution.

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