Disaster Simulation Shows Benefits of Cloud-Based Geospatial Data


Rutrell Yasin of GCN.com recently reported, "A government/industry consortium has demonstrated how to rapidly assemble and manage a cloud-based disaster response infrastructure that will let emergency responders share geospatial and other critical data despite having disparate IT systems. On Sept. 12, the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium led a real-time demonstration for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in McLean, Va., where 150 government and business leaders watched a disaster-response simulation based on the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In an effort to improve communication in  disaster response, NGA wanted to see how industry can deliver open standards-based geospatial data to first responders via multiple, interoperable cloud infrastructures that would let NGA share nonclassified information with mission partners but protect access to its sensitive information, said David Bottom, director of NGA Information Technology Services."

Yasin continues, "Amazon Web Services was the core operational cloud platform in the demonstration. Geo-servers and geospatial data and data translations capabilities were provided by the Google cloud. Savvis provided cloud-based backup and business continuity services. Aerospace Corp. provided an OpenStack cloud offering identity access management and security. NJVC, which built the hybrid cloud infrastructure, managed the clouds via its Cloudcuity brokerage services. NGA wanted the OpenStack cloud to ensure all geospatial data would be stored in the object-based environment and consumed as a standard Open Geospatial Consortium service, said Todd Myers, NGA’s lead global computer architect. One of the goals of the demonstration was to show how first responders 'are able to get access to data without establishing authentication to separate data repositories,' Myers said during an interview at the event."

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Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Marc_Smith