Technology at work

I got a chance to tour the Johnson County Kansas Criminalistics lab this week.  What an amazing new facility in two different ways.  First, it is a top notch, internationally accredited crime lab with amazing technology.  The CSI shows are not as much of an exaggeration as I thought.  With the sensitivity of their new equipment, they can obtain and identify “touch DNA” from just about anything.  We are very lucky in our county – our facility is a model for the country, and they are continuously bringing people in from all over the country to teach our methods and our model.

Second, the building is LEED certified at the Platinum level.  This means it is the greenest a building could be – from using sustainable materials and energy efficient design techniques to super-efficient environmental systems.  The technology in the actual building itself is as impressive as the contents!

The cutting edge equipment they have is just astounding.  An example is a laser mapping device they can take to crime scenes.  Many CSI units use a GPS “survey” type system with a system on a tripod at a known point, and a person that carries a pole to different locations to plot distances and locations.  It can take several people several hours to plot 50 data points using that system.  The new laser mapping system they have in Johnson County can map 3.7 million data points in 2 minutes!  The results are incredible, with the benefit being they have a 100% accurate map of the area, and if new evidence comes up, they don’t have to go back onsite to replot and gather more information.

I believe lessons they learn in the crime lab will have positive effects in the business world.  In the beginning, the benefit of technology was to allow us to gather more data efficiently.   Today, we are able to gather so much data, from so many different sources, that we have to come up with ways to quickly analyze and determine what’s relevant from that fire hose stream of data.  Facilities like this are leading the way and I look forward to learning more!

Next month, look for tips on how to effectively use email in today’s environment