Aurora, Colo. - The Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) has announced the release of the Twin Cities GECCo Workshop After Action Report/Improvement Plan.

This report is the result of extensive dialogue among community geospatial stakeholders following a Geospatial Enabling Community Collaboration (GECCo) workshop held in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in October 2011. The Twin Cities GECCo is part of a series of workshops jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and GITA.

The report will be used to create an ongoing process for the metro region that improves geospatial data collaboration and cooperation among the business, emergency services, infrastructure and geospatial communities. MetroGIS, a voluntary collaboration of local and regional governments, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the Twin Cities, will coordinate efforts to pursue plan recommendations.

The 96-page document is unique in several ways, according to Steve Swazee, a member of the GITA Board of Directors and local GECCo workshop leader. “It represents the first time that the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) format has been employed to document GECCo results against a standardized national methodology and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation and improvement planning,” he said. “This is significant in that it directly links GECCo findings to fundable objectives of DHS grant programs.” Swazee also serves as executive director of SharedGeo, a non-profit association headquartered in the Minneapolis area, as well as chair of the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office’s Emergency Preparedness Committee.

GITA Executive Director Bob Samborski said, “The GECCo program has become one of the association’s most ambitious efforts. The workshops held in the Twin Cities and earlier this year in the Bay Area and Charlotte are the culmination of a multi-year effort to promote better geospatial data sharing among public and private stakeholders in specific geographic areas around the country. The support of DHS has been instrumental in this effort.”

The Twin Cities GECCo report is available from the Twin Cities GECCoweb site “Post Event” page.