Locations on CNY911

Important Disclaimer: The locations shown on CNY911.com should not be assumed to be an accurate representation of the actual location of an emergency event. The purpose of these locations is only to show the neighborhood, city, or town that the event is occurring. Members of the community are strongly advised against taking any action based on this information, including showing up at an emergency event. Misuse of the information available here could result in legal repercussions, as well as jeopardize our ability to make this information available to the community.

The CNY911.com community was created to provide notifications about emergency events and to provide a space for discussion. One of the important features of our website is the ability to show the location of emergency events. To accomplish this, the software uses a custom code for geocoding the locations of emergency events.

The software first categorizes the address into one of several address logic classifications, such as city center, street address, and more. In some cases, the 911 center provides a place name like "SU Bldg 25" and a street name and city. In these cases, the software uses a geocoding tool from Google to find the point (lat/lng) at which the street crosses with one or two cross streets. For street names with no cross street information, the software uses trigonometry to calculate the most likely point on the map halfway between two points.

In some cases, the locations are sent as exact street addresses, but this usually only happens for businesses. Highways and interstates can be difficult to accurately locate, and in the worst-case scenario, the marker will be placed in the geographic center of the town or city. For street addresses the geocoding system is able to place a pin on the map with great accuracy. However, calls to businesses seem to be the only ones that come through as exact street addresses.

There are also instances where the county may send out the dispatch information as “UNKNOWN.” In these cases, the geocoding system will place a marker in the middle of Onondaga Lake. However, the system does have a process for manually re-mapping items if the correct location can be determined. This helps to smooth out the data, but it doesn’t fix it for the notifications sent out to members of the community who have signed up on the CNY911 website.