Fleet tracking is not a new industry, having been around since the 1980’s, but the movement to track vehicle fleets really didn’t attract any attention until the mid-2000’s as more companies were required by the federal government to have data on the locations of their fleet. While the technology has grown rapidly in urban and large population areas, rural areas are just now starting to realize the importance of GPS tracking technology and GIS map correction. With rural institution’s limited budgets in comparison to the larger pocket books in metropolitan locations. It has become apparent that rural areas could benefit the most from the technology as roadways and landmarks are often incorrectly marked and rarely updated causing many emergency medical personnel, sheriffs deputies and fire fighters rescue crews delays. 97% of the land mass of the U.S. is classified as rural and small town.
Although 85% of America is geocoded to 911 standards, these standards are woefully inadequate, especially when the 3142 counties that make up rural America are mapped in a disparate number of antiquated software programs and not housed in a centralized database. As routes change this problem grows even more present as these old software solutions fail to be updated.
What is the importance of these roads being mapped? Rural roads are the harbingers of opportunity for many middle to low income families, and improving rural connectivity with GPS tracking technology and improved GIS mapping not only increases these opportunities but assists in the management of natural disasters and manmade crisis (fire, crime, etc.). In 1949, the United States had 2.5 million miles of rural road, over which half was unpaved that was utilized for mail delivery, school buses and milk delivery, then in 1950, due to pressure from both farm and political lobbies, a vast expansion ($2.4 billion) occurred, paving roads and building new ones. This expansion caused mess of non-essential roads, systemic breakdowns and lack of adequate road plans.