DHS Implements New GIS Solutions for Disaster Response

TerraGo® Technologies has delivered to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a data integration solution to automatically integrate and update data from disparate, dynamic sources and produce multi-layer map books for crisis managers and incident responders in support of its Wide Area Recovery & Resiliency Program (WARRP).

WARRP is a federal interagency program chartered to develop solutions to reduce the time and resources to recover wide urban areas, military installations and critical infrastructure following a catastrophic chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) event. The data integration solution developed for the WARRP project will now be offered by TerraGo to state, local and other government emergency management organizations.

As part of DHS Science and Technology Directorate-led program, the TerraGo data integration solution will integrate dynamic map and geospatial data from disparate, remote sources such as NOAA weather reports, plume models, utility GIS data sets, imagery, base maps and other information into a local cache that is refreshed daily. From this database, TerraGo Publisher® technology leveraging Esri ArcGIS® Server will produce interactive, portable and intelligent TerraGo GeoPDF® maps and imagery. TerraGo Composer® for ArcGIS Server will then compile the multi-layer GeoPDF maps into digital map books covering wide areas such as a city, region or state.

Once the map books are produced, they will be constantly refreshed and distributed to provide a current common operational picture. Crisis managers and incident responders without sophisticated software or training may then receive or fetch new information about their Area of Interest (AOI) via an index map from enterprise or Web portals in real time, or in disconnected environments, from a laptop or USB flash drive.

The users may then access selected GeoPDF maps from the digital atlases with the Adobe Reader-based TerraGo Toolbar®, which allows multi-coordinate display, measurement and geolocation functions. Toolbar also enables advanced field data collection and collaboration of both structured data with geoforms and unstructured data including audio, photos, and video georeferenced to specific locations or objects as attachments so that responders may capture current field information for later distribution and consolidation.

"The ability to maintain and distribute current comprehensive sets of georeferenced information that can be consumed by non-GIS planners and responders is essential for any recovery," said Jeff Vining, Gartner research vice president for government research and geospatial surveillance operational technology. "The technologies fostered by the WARRP project will provide valuable new tools and expertise to enhance public safety in a catastrophic event."       

"WARRP focuses on a coordinated systems approach to the recovery and resiliency of wide urban areas, including all types of critical infrastructure, key civilian and military resources and high traffic areas and transit facilities," said William J. Ginley, chief, NBC Battlefield Management Branch, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. "TerraGo Technologies’ geospatial collaboration software, as part of WARRP, will provide responders with the latest geospatial intelligence to advance the response and recovery processes to save lives, mitigate damage and promote order in the wake of an incident."

"TerraGo geospatial collaboration software is widely proven in crisis response as well as defense, intelligence, and other mission-critical roles," said Rick Cobb, president and CEO, TerraGo Technologies. "We are pleased to play a key role in the WARRP program which we believe can serve as an emergency incident preparedness model for federal, state and local governments in the U.S and around the world."

WARRP is mandated by the White House Science and Technology program and staffed by representatives from the DHS, Department of Defense, Department of State, Secret Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, and other local and regional stakeholders. WARRP is administered by the U.S. Army. Decision makers selected TerraGo for its ability to integrate numerous data sources and GIS applications and produce interactive, portable and intelligent GeoPDF maps, imagery and applications that can be accessed, updated and shared by anyone, anywhere.

For more information about the solution, visit http://bit.ly/QNo2qQ.

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