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[OGC Press Release] OGC Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Addresses Interoperability Challenges in Disaster Planning

OGC Press Release announce@opengis.org
Mon, 25 Mar 2002 13:24:58 -0500


For information about this announcement, contact:
Mark E. Reichardt
Director, Marketing and Public Sector Programs
Open GIS Consortium, Inc.
tel: +1-301-840-1361

OGC Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Addresses Interoperability
Challenges in Disaster Planning

Wayland, MA, USA, March 25, 2002 – How can emergency
managers and planners improve their ability to access critical data
needed to deal with natural hazards? The Open GIS Consortium's
(OGC) Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Phase 1 (MMI-1) is tackling
just that question in preparation for a public demonstration on March
29, 2002.  Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, the initiative will develop and test an interoperable,
standards based framework for the discovery and distribution of
multi-hazard map data between federal, state, and local emergency
management agencies.

Natural hazard maps and the base maps they depend upon are
developed at all levels of government and in the private sector for a
variety of purposes. Information sharing is hampered by the
diversity of geographic information systems in use across
organizations for hazard mapping.  The MMI initiative will
demonstrate how the Internet can be used as a medium to locate,
retrieve and exploit multi-hazard map data from many different
organizations regardless geographic location, the computing
platform or software solution being used. This pilot will become an
operational part of the OGC Network in April 2002. OGC members
participating in this initiative include CubeWerx, Compusult, SAIC,
ESRI, Harvard Design and Mapping (HDM) and MapInfo.

The Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative demonstration will involve two
fictional use cases, each focusing on different types of hazards.
One scenario, based in California, uses for illustrative purposes the
development of a 20-year land use plan.  By combining information
about land use, population, transportation and hazards data
(including earthquake susceptibility, historical data on faults,
tsunamis, and wildfires), the planner can evaluate where exposure
to natural hazards might warrant further evaluation in the planning

The second scenario, located in North Carolina, will demonstrate
the use of multi-hazard advisory maps to provide better information
for a hurricane response plan for a three county region.   A variety of
geospatial data sets will be rapidly accessed from different
organizations and combined with other critical information via the
Internet to produce the maps. The demonstration will call upon data
such as historic storm paths, flood maps, roads, hazard probability
maps, and demographic information.

The MMI-1 demonstration will take place at the Rosslyn Spectrum in
Rosslyn, Virginia.  Doors will open at 12:00 EST with the
demonstration starting at 1:00 EST.  Those interested in attending
should register at http://ip.opengis.org/mmi/mmi_reg.html.
Directions to the Rosslyn Spectrum can be found at
http://www.actorscenter.org/spectrum.html.  Parking is limited,
however there is ample public transportation available.

MMI is part of the OGC Interoperability Program, a global,
collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed
to deliver proven candidate interface specifications into the OGC
Specification Development Program.  If you are interested in
learning more about sponsoring or participating in OGC's
Interoperability Program, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison,
Interoperability Program Executive Director, (703) 491-9543

OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230
companies, government agencies and universities participating in a
consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing
specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable
solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based
services, and mainstream IT, and empower technology developers
to make complex spatial information and services accessible and
useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at