Designing a 3D Map for First Responders

Last Updated:1/11/2023

EAST students at Batesville High School Charter 3D designed a map of their school for first responders to use in order to respond to potential emergency events.

School safety has become a top priority for many communities across the country, and EAST students at Batesville High School Charter are working with their School Resource Officer to help first responders if an emergency ever happens at the school.

Boston Hall and Keaton Douglas are working together on creating a 3D-modeled map of Batesville High School Charter that is completely to scale, in order to give first responders a clear idea of the school’s layout before entering to tackle an emergency.

“I did a similar project when I was in EAST at the junior high school, and when I noticed the high school didn’t have a 3D map, I decided to make one here,” Boston said.

The team constantly consults with their SRO in order to identify what is exactly needed in order to make the 3D model helpful to him and other first responders.

“He made sure that we capture every door and every window so that every exit and entry point in the school is highlighted,” Boston said.

The duo uses a tape measure in order to calculate the dimensions of the school, all the way down to every classroom. Once they collect that data, they are able to replicate the area in SketchUp, a software used exclusively for 3D modeling. Not every design has been smooth sailing for the pair, however.

“There have been a few challenges when it comes to using SketchUp,” Keaton said. “We have a curved wall that is full of windows at the school, and we are still struggling with how to model that. Problems like that feel more advanced than what we are qualified to do at the moment.”

Even though the project hasn’t been easy, Boston has a special appreciation for the challenge as 3D design has been a major interest of his for years.

“I’ve always been interested in SketchUp, 3D design and CAD designs,” Boston said. “That’s what I’ve worked with for my entire EAST career. I don’t really know anything but that.”

Boston and Keaton hope to finish the project before EAST Conference so they can share their work with their peers, and while they both are getting set to graduate in the spring, facilitator Lori Campbell says she wants to expand this project in the future to include all schools within the Batesville School District.

“[Batesville School District] has a big push for safety,” Lori said. “Once this is done, it can go really far into our community for our school board and parents to see and appreciate how it makes our students safer. I think it’s probably something we could be asked to do for all seven of our schools within the district.”

While Boston and Keaton work on the 3D design, Colton Scott, a freshman who has two years of experience in EAST, is working on creating a 360-degree virtual tour in conjunction with the project.

Colton says he is using the Unity game development engine to create the experience and is optimizing it to be used through virtual reality headsets.

"I've had to learn a lot about UI (User Interface) design and how to make it a seamless experience for the user," Colton said. "I've had to do a lot of troubleshooting as I've learned more about Unity, but I think the end product will be helpful for others to learn the layout of our school."

Boston and Keaton are both seniors who will be graduating in May. Boston says he is going to pursue a career as a lineman while Keaton is going to study in order to become a physical therapist.

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