[OSGeo-Discuss] re: question

Arnie Shore shoreas at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 17:56:18 PST 2011

Folks, Tilottama Ghosh's remark re "... how unaffordable ... "
motivates this (mostly) lurker to riff (once again) a bit thereon.

I'm the lead developer on a free open source application that does
Computer-Aided Dispatch management, AKA CAD. Now CAD, IMO, is the
quintessential example of location-aware technology. And has been,
since its inception AFAIK in the late 1950's.

For the CAD-unaware among you, it's ubiquitous; if you dial the
equivalent of the US 911, the odds are high that the call-taker is at
a CAD terminal, capturing the information needed for a response by the
nearest suitable response unit. At it's most elementary, CAD can help
answer questions re where are the response resources, and where are
the incidents that require their attention.  In many (most?) instances
it supports a 24x7 operation.

But not all CAD usage is of the "Dude, where's my ambulance?" type. As
example, some of our users have expanded on that theme to implement a
"Call us if you're too drunk to drive for a ride home by a sober
driver" (although presumably not too drunk to call). Others schedule
and provide emergency transport during worst weather conditions
(hello, UK!), and others (lots, actually) use it to manage special
events, in which medical attention may be needed.  Notably, many of
these teams are staffed by volunteers, and you can readily draw
correct inferences re their budgets for products like CAD.

While "CAD" is readily recognized as an application area, its basic
capabilities - if suitably conceived and designed - can be closely
associated with Situational Awareness, a possibly even more universal

The motivation behind our developing Tickets CAD was that despite
CAD's relative maturity as an application area as well as its
ubiquity, the commercial marketplace's requirements for revenue has
resulted in an underserved community. It's indicative that 45% of the
downloads from SourceForge are consistently from non-US sources. (And
we think that WE have budget problems!)

So what's behind this diatribe?  Well, it's mostly a consciousness
raising exercise, intended to familiarize those not already aware that
CAD is, arguably, THE GIS application, and to encourage those of you
to devote some thought to how the skills and creativity on clear
display here might be focused to meet the needs I've expanded a bit
upon above.

Arnie Shore
Project Tickets CAD

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