May 10, 2004
Interactive Seminars Draw Crowds
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -


Welcome to GISWeekly!


GISWeekly Although these seminars are included in an abbreviated form on our home page (what I wrote for the
GITA Conference News), I have extended them here for your review. The seminars were chock-full of information for those professionals dealing with setting up a Critical Infrastructure Protection Program and those trying to make a Business Case for ROI. For the large number of organizations today that are under a mandate to create CIP programs and then justify these additional costs to their companies, these seminars met a vital need.


This coming week, May 11-14, I will be attending Geospatial World in Miami Beach and hope to see many of you there.


GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor




Industry News

Special GITA 27 Annual Conference Report

By Susan Smith


The two GITA seminars I attended were very interactive and engaged their audiences in real-world activities that could then be applied to the challenges they face in their day-to-day workplace. Although these seminars are included in an abbreviated form on our home page (what I wrote for the
GITA Conference News), I have extended them here for your review. The seminars were chock-full of information for those professionals dealing with setting up a Critical Infrastructure Protection Program and those trying to make a Business Case for ROI. For the large number of organizations today that are under a
mandate to create CIP programs and then justify these additional costs to their companies, these seminars met a vital need.




Critical Infrastructure Protection


The Critical Infrastructure Protection Pre-Conference Seminar kicked off with Richard Kuykendall, President of Kuykendall & Associates, highlighting the fact that “we at GITA have been elevated because of the importance of geospatial information and have gained a new role since 9/11. The world changed at that point, on a local and a national level.”


The event spawned the evolution of the Geospatial Leadership Coalition (GLC), formed through GITA, which addresses data sharing. “after the federal government realized that 85% of the information they need is out of their hands; it is in the hands of local and state governments, and private utilities,” explained Kuykendall, adding, “the sharing of that information is invaluable.”


Dave DiSera of EMA, Inc. made this statement about what GIS should do for critical infrastructure protection: “Protecting critical infrastructure depends on rapid discovery and access to disparate internal and external spatial information source. GIS has the innate ability to rapidly access and process spatially enabled infrastructure data to help infrastructure management organizations make informed and timely critical infrastructure protection decisions while planning for and responding to a manmade or natural event.”


“We're seeing organizations now use GIS to protect their assets,” said DiSera. “Event based scenarios are the best way to know what a situation is. Detection is accomplished using video motion detectors, infrared, vibration, closed-circuit TV, proximity sensors and modeling tools.”


Within the last year, the City of Minneapolis modeled a tanker spill and consequently, they estimated the plume killed 20,000 people, “it was only by modeling it were they able to see what the implications could be,” attested DiSera.


The ability to be able to delay an adversary from gaining access to critical infrastructure is of course, critical. GIS uses include: perimeter management and barrier management. Ground sensors, sentry placement, airport security view sheds, and moving view shed analysis are some of the detection and prevention tools that can be used to deploy equipment or technology once a spatial relationship is established between the facility in question and the equipment.


Field access to GIS data has become increasingly important in measuring response and recovery coordination.


Some of the lessons learned for GIS for Critical Infrastructure Protection include:
- Data sharing agreements are critical

- Remote sensing technology is vital to incident management, have advance contracts for data collection;

- Be prepared to share data with the media

- Have mobile mapping capabilities

- Have a mechanism to bring your data together and distribute it

- Quickly establish map production capabilities, have a list of GIS and other technical personnel and vendors

- Data integration is essential

- Must have organized data

- Coordination of map production across agencies (Federal, State, City and privately held organizations

- Coordination of multiple agencies collecting the same data (e.g. environmental monitoring, building inspections)
DiSera was part of a GITA study mission that went to Japan to study the Road Administration Information Center (ROADIC) in Tokyo. The organizations they visited included: City of Tokyo Bureau of General Affairs, Disaster Prevention Center; Bureau of Waterworks, Water Supply Operations Center and Bureau of Waterworks, Water Quality Management Center; Metropolitan Police Department; Tokyo Gas Company, Center for Supply Control and Disaster Management; and Nippon Telephone & Telegraph, Infrastructure Network Corporation. In Japan they do not have the major issue of standards to deal with: everyone uses the Total Utility Management System, the original system for Tokyo Gas. The system was
developed in response to a major gas explosion in 1985 and the lack of their knowledge of underground assets. “Benefits of ROADIC are associated with cost savings: utility and construction coordination and management and time reduction for management of permit process,” said DiSera.


In comparison, utilities and state and local governments in the U.S. work with widely disparate systems and data integrity is often at issue.


In Japan, terrorism is not a major issue. Their CIP is driven by a concern about earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Although not mandated, their system could be used for CIP as it enables increased coordination, data sharing to support disaster planning and recovery.
Their initial implementation, begun in the 80s, expanded to 12 major urban areas throughout the nation, and now those branches coordinate with local governments and public utilities.


The original cost of the system was Y9.5 Billion, or US$ 8.7 Billion. The National Government funded 60% of the cost, and interested local governments and utility companies funded the remaining 30%.


Today's annual operating budget is Y3.4 Billion, or US$ 3.1 Million. The National Government funds 50% of the cost, local governments are responsible for 10% and private utilities and other organizations provide 40% of the cost.


ROADIC enjoys several economic benefits, but chief among them are the utility and construction coordination and time reduction for management of permit process.


ROADIC's technology issues include: an increased use of fiber optics to enhance communications and coordination; and no use of the Internet-the members access the database directly and data is restricted to members.


A very apt question from the audience: If one utility has incorrect data, how do you then make sure everyone is getting the correct piece? “ROADIC has staff who annually take in data from utilities, we don't know how,” explained DiSera. “This is engineering level data in the system. A lot of time spent on making this information very accurate. Their information is between 10 and 20 centimeters in asbuilts. Everything has to undergo a 3 month identification process.”


The mission study group made several key observations of the ROADIC system-
- A consortium of public and private entities was successful in creating a land database that works

- The ability to build and maintain a common database predicated on a common land base is crucial in establishing data sharing partnerships

- In the U.S. there is difficulty in providing an incentive to municipalities and utilities to participate

- ROI is the driver in the U.S. whereas crisis management is the driver for Japan

- ROADIC provides an example demonstrating that utilities don't have to share data completely to accomplish some worthwhile shared benefits.
What stands in the way of implementations like ROADIC in North America are liability issues, utility companies in North America haven't proactively responded to data sharing activities at this level and proprietary agreements are the common form of sharing data.


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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.




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