Understanding mapping

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Introduction

When we get an alert from your dispatch, we attempt to generate a latitude and longitude for the alert location unless your dispatch sends this information already. These are the steps we follow:

  1. We check for an address.
    If no address is given, we skip mapping completely.
    We check for a city name.
    If your dispatch specifies a city, we will use it. If not, we check to see if you have set a default city. If you haven't, we will usually default to the name of your county. If we don't have that, either, we will use the city from your account address.
    We check for a state.
    If no state is given, we use the one from your account address.
    We search Google Maps for "ADDRESS CITY, STATE".
    Remember, if you didn't give us a city, this will usually be "ADDRESS, COUNTY, STATE".
    We make sure the result is reasonable.
    This means calculating the distance as the crow flies between your main address and the one that Google returns in the search. If the distance is more than 20 miles, we discard it and skip mapping.
    We replace the city name with the one that came up in the Google search.
    This is only done if your dispatch did not specify a city and we were forced to use a guess.

Related FAQ

My map shows the wrong address!

This may mean that dispatch did not specify a city, and we had to use a guess (usually the county name). There are two things you can do to fix this:

  1. Get dispatch to start sending city names, and let us know so we can start using them (best!)
  2. Tell us what city you want to use for your default city. This may cause problems if you are ever dispatched outside your default city.

Of course, we may have just made a mistake. If you think this is what happened, please let us know!

Why did I not see a map?
Usually, no map either means you didn't specify an address, or the address you gave us didn't map (came up more than 20 miles away).
An intersection did not map properly!
Try searching maps.google.com for "INTERSECTION OF a AND b". If it does not map, you may need to report the problem to Google. If the roads do not intersect (an overpass, for example) try searching for "HIGHWAY a AT b". If it maps OK, but we did something wrong, please let us know.
A mile marker did not map!
Google does not understand mile markers. Try dispatching the location as an intersection or an address, and put the mile marker in the details.
A railroad crossing did not map!
Google does not understand railroad crossings. Try dispatching the location as an intersection or an address, and put the mile marker in the details.
What can I do to improve mapping?
Make sure your dispatch is sending us a city name!
Let us know when something isn't right. Please report incorrect mapping to support.