With mapping and GIS technology recognized as a vital component in homeland security planning, Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions has initiated a new Homeland Security Network to address local, state and national infrastructure safety and emergency requirements. The network, managed by the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC), provides a forum for Intergraph and its customers to discuss relevant issues, organizational workflows and required products and services in the context of homeland security. Key topics include maintenance of current information about infrastructure systems, identification and analysis of potential threat areas, and implementation of security and response procedures.
Preetha Pulusani, president of Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions, comments, "In the wake of the September 11 attacks, significant attention is being given to how geospatial data is used, shared, managed, and maintained when responding to threats of terrorism as well as life-threatening natural disasters. Intergraph's new Homeland Security Network facilitates direct, focused, and open communication for issues of mutual concern for all our customers, specifically those in government.
"If GIS is to become a viable tool and the backbone for homeland security planning, the mapping and GIS community at large must embrace standards for open data sharing and interoperability along with common processes to collect and maintain data." Pulusani says, "The network's goal is to foster collaboration and help drive national and local initiatives to make this a reality."
Homeland security encompasses many subjects Response and recover plans that include spatial technology share objectives such as creating reliable infrastructure management, participating in open data sharing, and developing timely communication for enhanced decision-making. These objectives also apply in instances of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes.
Following the 911 terrorist attacks, New York City Transit faced problems with subway tunnels destroyed, roads closed, and transit routes disrupted. Intergraph assisted the city in integrating spatial data from several city departments into a single map for evaluation and decision making on how to restore and rebuild critical routes.
Intergraph has helped the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) develop and implement a Hurricane Evacuation Decision Support Solution. The system provides a Web-based presentation of smart maps that incorporate live information from varied sources such as SCDOT's GIS, remote traffic counters, evacuation route and detour maps, and real-time weather data. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the system provided rapidly changing traffic and weather information to state officials who were tasked with managing the evacuation.
SCDOT's evacuation system underscores the incredible complexity of civilian evacuations, which have been estimated to cost government agencies $200,000 (U.S.) per mile to carry out. Organization efforts preceding mass departures may involve police departments, city governments, departments of transportation the local media, and, most of all, the residents who must move to a safer location.
"New York City Transit and South Carolina DOT are excellent examples of how customers can benefit from participation in the new homeland security network," said David Kingsbury, director of Intergraph's Transportation Solutions Center for North America and homeland security network co-facilitator. "We anticipate thoughtful, but lively, network discussions as we come together to address needed requirements and initiatives that will prove valuable in helping protect and save human lives."
A Homeland Security Network meeting will be held at GeoSpatial World 2002, June 10-12, in Atlanta, Georgia, giving attendees the opportunity to discuss relevant issues and preview technology and services in a professional development environment. More information about Intergraph's homeland security measures and how to join an IGUC network is available at www.intergraph.com/gis/homeland. For more information about GeoSpatial World, visit www.intergraph.com/geospatialworld.