Fort Bragg E911 Addressing Project
- Submitted by:
- Mike Osbourn
- Cumberland County NC
- Submitted on:
- 16 May, 2012
- Organizational Impact Award
- Government - Federal/State/Local
- Products Used:
- Mapinfo Professional, Spatailware, Exponare, GBM Mobile and Routeware
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Fort Bragg is the largest military installation within the United States having approximately 57,000 active duty soldiers. The base was created in 1918 as a field artillery site and grew to over 67,000 soldiers at the beginning of 1942 during World War II.
Fort Bragg occupies an irregularly-shaped parcel of land, covering approximately 160,700 acres (or 251 square miles), that stretch into four counties. Included within this area are Camp MacKall (an auxiliary training complex), 7 major drop zones, 4 impact areas, 82 ranges, 16 live fire maneuver areas, and 2 Army airfields. Fort Bragg is a major city, providing approximately 20 million square feet of office buildings, 11 shopping centers, 28 restaurants, 11 miles of railroad lines, a major medical center, 8 schools, 11 churches, 183 recreational facilities, and approximately 5,000 homes housing over 11,000 family members.
Fort Bragg is home to FORSCOM (U.S. Army Forces Command), the XVIII Airborne Division, the U.S. Army Reserve Command, XVIII Airborne Corps, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division, Joint Special Operations Command, Simmons Army Airfield and Pope Field.
In conjunction with the US Postal Service, Fort Bragg realized that the sorting of mail and the provision of emergency services was somewhat hindered by their proprietary building identification system. This system was designed to identify facilities for maintenance and real property purposes but did not account for a more standard method of street addressing which the US Postal system utilizes for automated mail sorting. The building identification system can generally be described as a coordinate system based on an internally developed grid of the installation. This system works well for the unique identification of each structure but does not adhere to the US Postal service standards for street addressing, so the automated sorting mechanisms employed could not be used for any inbound mail. In addition to the problems encountered by the manual sorting of inbound mail, most civilians and newly assigned military personnel found it difficult to navigate the base when looking for a building number since the numbers were not sequential along any given street.
Fort Bragg was faced with an influx of new active duty soldiers due to BRAC (Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission) recommendations where an estimated increase in population over the region would be approximately 40,000 by 2013, and much of the installation would see major construction projects. Given that major changes to the installation were forthcoming and an increase in both personnel and mail would be expected, it made sense that this would be an opportune time to plan and implement a more compatible addressing system for the base.
Fort Bragg wanted the new system to be similar and compatible with surrounding areas and desired to have some long term consistency with whoever was going to provide these services. In addition to the technical requirements, Fort Bragg wanted a partner that could provide all the services required to implement this system. This included the manufacture and installation of over 2,500 address placards on non-residential structures as well as numerous street name signs.
Fort Bragg also required data created by this project be made available in multiple database and GIS formats in a timely manner.
Fort Bragg entered into an agreement with the Cumberland County Planning Department Location Services Division in 2008 to update their system to a functioning and compatible addressing system. During this project, staff assigned over 2,500 E911 addresses, remapped and added additional attribute data to approximately 2000 street centerline segments, installed over 2300 address placards, and renamed over 70 streets. Staff also was instrumental in the development of procedures for the continued implementation of an addressing system. The initial phase of this project took approximately 13 months to complete the data collection and address assignment portion, and 24 months to manufacture and install all address placards on non-housing units.
This new system will allow the US Postal service to automate the sorting of all mail bound for the installation, and will also enhance the response for emergency services when fully implemented.
Staff utilized a number of Pitney Bowes software applications for this project. MapInfo Professional provides the tools necessary to edit and create all the spatial data and Exponare is utilized to distribute online information to those individuals lacking a desktop mapping application.
Data is written nightly into approximately five separate formats. This translation is performed by a combination of Safe Software’s FME application and automated MapInfo Professional applications.
Advantages of the Addressing Project
Standardized Street Addressing.
By utilizing a commonly accepted street addressing system Fort Bragg can now employ many software applications designed to consume street address data. These applications can range from a geocoding solution to emergency services routing application.
Street Naming Historical Records.
Fort Bragg can now use a more up to date mechanism to track when and why streets were named or renamed. Prior to the addressing project many streets were disjointed by construction over the years since there was no need to reference the name when referring to a building. As mentioned previously, staff had to rename/name approximately 74 streets in order to provide standard logical street addressing. These documents are accessible via a spatial interface that is much more intuitive than a tabular format.
Timely Address Assignment for New Facilities and Construction Offices.
Staff is now able to assign an address for structures generally within 24 hours. This as well as semi automated routine to update the TELCO E911 database ensures that phone service as well as E911 services will be provided in a timely manner.
Fort Bragg will realize significant savings in a number of areas when the addressing system is fully implemented. By having a standard system of street addresses rather than a proprietary building numbering system many third party software applications will now be able to consume this data and utilize it for numerous analyses.
Savings to the US Postal service will be approximately 4 hours a day for 300 days or approximately 1,200 hours annually. This will be a significant savings for the US Postal service and provide a better product for the customer.
Active duty military personnel should also notice a substantial reduction in the time required to locate facilities on the base. Since the addressing system is more familiar to most everyone it stands to reason that navigating the installation should be easier.
Enhanced 911 data requirements required by telephone providers are such that it requires the use of address ranges. Fort Bragg’s building identification database was not formatted to work very well with the TELCO E911 application so the implementation of a standard addressing system solved this incompatibility.
The views expressed in this document are solely from the addressing staff of Cumberland County North Carolina and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army.