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MobileMapper CE Helps Wilderness Firefighters in Extremadura, Spain

September 10, 2007
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Santa Clara, Calif. –– Wildland firefighters in Extremadura, an important wildlife region in western Spain, are working more safely and efficiently thanks to twelve new Magellan MobileMapper CE handheld GPS/GIS units. To improve mission-critical information on the fire line, the regional government purchased the MobileMapper CEs from Tecnosylva, a Magellan dealer headquartered in Leon, Spain. Tecnosylva recommended the rugged, high-performance MobileMapper CEs and loaded them with INFOEX (INcendios FOrestales EXtremadura), a mobile GIS application applet designed by Tecnosylva to meet the special needs and challenges of Extremadura’s wildland firefighters.

MobileMapper CE Makes Dangerous Work Safer
Wildfires have become a serious environmental problem in Extremadura, an area of 41,600 square kilometers (about the size of the Netherlands) with a population of 1.2 million. Fighting the fires is dangerous work, usually in unfamiliar terrain, often in rugged mountainous areas, and sometimes under heavy smoke conditions and at night. Accurate and detailed field information to facilitate tactical decisions can spell the difference between success and failure, even life and death.

Personal safety and fire management demands quick access to an array of accurate geographic features and information. Extremadura wildfire fighters had been using recreational-grade handheld GPS units that provided coordinates, but little else. For improved safety and effectiveness, the firefighters are now equipped with the MobileMapper CEs to pinpoint their location and view topographic maps and aerial photos that display detailed information about their surroundings, including the location of nearby roads, where they lead, contour changes, locations of water points and the amount of water available in each. “During the recent Cabeza Vellosa fire earlier this month, the MobileMapper CE helped us to quickly get the fire under control by assisting our team with fast and easy real-time navigation, data acquisition and excellent accuracy,” said Francisco Dominguez, wildfire prevention technician, Extremadura.

About Magellan MobileMapper CE
The Magellan MobileMapper CE is the standard for performance and affordability in handheld GPS/GIS receivers. It is the most cost-effective solution on the market, offering an impressive array of high-performance features, including real-time, sub-meter GPS positioning, removable SD memory card with capacity up to 4 GB for the storage large files, such as complex maps and GIS data bases, and an all-day removable battery. It’s designed to operate in harsh environments where standard consumer-grade, less rugged GPS receivers are easily damaged. It is built to withstand a 4.9-foot (1.5-m) drop to concrete and remain waterproof even when totally immersed in water

It offers a familiar Windows computing environment, an 18-button backlit keyboard and touch-sensitive screen that field personnel can learn to operate very quickly. Tecnosylva provided Extremadura firefighters with six hours of class training and six hours of field training. “It gave us the confidence that we could expertly use the MobileMapper CE on the fire line with complete assurance,” noted Dominguez. With its embedded Microsoft Windows CE .NET operating system, MobileMapper CE users have the flexibility to choose the field software that’s best for them.

About INFOEX application for wildfire fighters
The INFOEX software applet, is the mobile part of INFOGIS, a wildfire decision support software system developed by Tecnosylva. INFOGIS is a ArcGIS based command and control program that maintains large data bases and offers convenient retrieval of the information wildfire fighters require. The INFOEX program provides “big buttons” to permit firefighters to use the MobileMapper CE touch screen even while wearing bulky protective fire-fighting gloves. Magellan dealer Tecnosylva has offices in both León and Zaragoza, Spain. For more information, visit www.infogis.es / www.tecnosylva.com.

About Magellan
Magellan is a global innovator of navigation and positioning solutions. The company markets its GPS products in vehicle navigation and outdoor markets, and its professional GPS and GNSS solutions in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets, including consumer electronics, automotive navigation and high-precision applications.

Magellan is privately held and headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with European headquarters in Carquefou, France. For more information regarding Magellan professional solutions for the survey, GIS and OEM markets, visit www.pro.magellanGPS.com.

Source: Magellan, Sept. 4, 2007.

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