GIS for Homeland Security

With Office of Homeland Security focuses on the analysis, preparation, and implementation of strategies that hinge on how information is collected and analyzed. Besides, it is essential how this data is coordinated and shared. At the federal level alone, more than 50 agencies share and coordinate information before, during, or after an emergency. The urgent need to develop strategies and methodologies for information access on which we can base our preparedness for homeland security comes with some perspective. Homeland security GIS solutions can elevate the management of all relevant data to a new level.

Aspectum GIS can help in preparing for and responding to national emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, and wildfires. This experience now enables Aspectum GIS systems to redefine planning and preparedness for the risks of malicious attacks. Geographic data plays a critical role in the assessment, preparation, and response to such threats. It gives users the capability to build on existing data sets in public, and the private sector allows organizations to move forward. The time to entwine the capabilities of Aspectum GIS technologies with national security is now.

Source: World Economic Forum

What can GIS technology offer to national infrastructure?

The national infrastructure of geospatial data is aimed at improving the system of meeting the needs of society in all types of geographical information, improving the efficiency of geospatial data and Homeland security GIS technologies for management decisions of public authorities, local government, economic, social, environmental, defense, scientific interests, the state, business entities and citizens based on the creation and sustainable development of the national infrastructure of geospatial data as a component of the single information space.

The strategy of national geospatial data infrastructure development defines the main priorities, principles, and directions of implementation of the unified state policy in the field of creation, storage, and use of geospatial data for Homeland security. Plus, the development of the market of new Aspectum GIS products and Aspectum GIS services speed up the integration into global geospatial data infrastructure.

Purpose, main tasks, and principles of national GIS infrastructure

The main goal is to meet the growing needs of society in all types of geographical information, increase the efficiency of geospatial data, and Homeland security GIS technologies in the context of sustainable development of society.

  • Structure and components of the national infrastructure of geospatial data. A set of unified regional, sectoral and intersectional information systems based on GIS technologies, use and produce allied geographic information resources using a single digital topographic and geodetic basis, and a unique method of technical classifiers and regulations.
  • Basic sets of geospatial data. The core of Aspectum GIS resources of the infrastructure, which combines all other geospatial and non-geospatial attributive, profile, and thematic data.
  • Profile geospatial datasets: All types of geographic data that are created using essential datasets and meet the requirements of standards for geographic information and metadata.
  • Geospatial metadata. To formalize sets of specific data that describe the structure and properties of elements of geographic information stored and offered in digital and non-digital form.
  • Standards and technical regulations. Ensuring the interoperability of infrastructure components is based on the creation and compliance with a single system of national standards and technical regulations in the field of production, storage, supply, and use of geospatial data.

The main measures for the implementation of GIS national infrastructure

To meet the needs of geospatial data of Homeland security, local governments, individual sectors of the economy, and different businesses can join to the creation of the infrastructure of geospatial data. The national foundation of geospatial data is formed as a component of the Homeland security infrastructure of the Country. The sphere of geospatial data infrastructure is covered by normative legal acts, normative and technical documents, technical regulations, and technological agreements in force in the information sphere of the Country of the creation and use of information resources.

The geospatial data infrastructure uses the information environment, telecommunications and communication facilities, software and hardware complexes, and organizational and technological structures that were created during the formation of the Homeland security Infrastructure. The scope of establishment of Homeland security resources GIS support of public administration include:

  • Means of access
  • Use of geospatial data,
  • Technical documents,
  • Technical regulations and agreements

What can GIS offer to solve the issue of disaster relives?

The United States faces several new challenges every year. The stats show that every disaster starts locally. Traditional threats to security were nation-based and aimed at U.S. forces and allies overseas. But with weapons of mass destruction, extremist group terrorism, attacks on information infrastructures, and other possibilities, threats now involve nonnationbased individuals or groups, with a reach that affects our security at home. This new reality means rethinking policies, planning, allocating resources, and formulating partnership strategies among federal, state, local, and private sectors.

How GIS supports the homeland security mission

While the federal government is the first line of defense in managing threat data and deterrence, it is the state and local government that is the first line of response in an actual emergency. The capability to and access data that can prevent an attack, cut damage, and save lives is the key.

A fundamental component of security is information, and for homeland security, this means geographic information. An essential and influential characteristic about buildings, schools, churches, daycare centers, malls, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, and highways is that they exist in identifiable locations that can be displayed on a map. People, too, can be tracked to specific addresses such as homes or businesses or aggregated to areas such as census blocks. And all this geographic-based data, or “geodata,” can be stored and displayed in a computerized geographic information system, or Homeland security GIS.

Homeland security GIS data have been used for decades to help organizations collect and analyze data to make better decisions. Public and private sector organizations have built valuable databases of spatial-based information, and they have put in place the hardware, software, procedures, and skilled staff resources necessary to work with geodata.

The federal government has deployed GIS into most agencies and departments. Repositories of geodata are used every day in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Justice, and many others. Homeland security GIS databases also exist in thousands of municipal, county, regional, and state agencies, as well as in nongovernment organizations and private sector organizations. As a result, the United States is the most geodata rich country in the world.

Source: Newsela

While federal organizations usually maintain the highest coverage, local data is managed at very detailed scales. The framework exists to establish integrated processes for data access and exchange. Many of the organizations that use Aspectum GIS technology today follow standard data models that ease data integration and promote data sharing. The geodatabases that exist today are the foundation on which to build strategies for a national knowledge base that will enable organizations to create, publish, and access geographic and associated data sets for strategic planning or tactical operations.