State Homeland Security Assessment and Strategy (SHSAS)
Geospatial Addendum 2005
Section I. Introduction
Geospatial Technologies (GT) and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) are technologies that allow
us to visualize information on intelligent maps, allow us to perform spatial analysis, share information,
and create electronic and hardcopy maps for use to plan, prevent, protect, respond, and recover from
any incident or event. DHS and Pennsylvania have both realized the importance of GT/GIS and
formed Information Technology-centered geospatial offices to build enterprise capabilities, identify
geospatial data, technology, and capability priorities, establish policy and standards, define and
promote geospatial interoperability, establish the geospatial enterprise architecture, and to define
minimum capabilities that are required to meet the needs of the preparedness and response
The Commonwealth’s Geospatial Priorities identified in this SHSAS Geospatial Addendum are:
• Geospatial Data
o Geospatial Data Prioritization
o Critical Infrastructure
o Geospatial Data Stewardship
o Geospatial Data Consolidation
o Geospatial Data Sharing
o Federal Geospatial Data Support
• Geospatial Interoperability
o Multi-level Data Sharing
o Avoidance of Proprietary Geospatial Applications and Data
o Open Geospatial Consortium Mapping Services
• Geospatial Enterprise Architecture (GEA)
o Geospatial Policies and Standards
o Geospatial Shared Services/Web Services
o Geospatial Enterprise Server Architecture (GESA)
Geospatial Enterprise Database
Geospatial Application Hosting
• Geospatial Enterprise Strengthening
o Geospatial Training
o Geospatial Equipment
o State GT Council
o Commonwealth GT Strategic Plan
o State Coordinated Local and Regional Geospatial Projects
o Enterprise WMD/CBRNE and Preparedness Geospatial Application Projects
o State Data Fusion/Intelligence Center
o Geospatial Portal Applications
o NIMS/NRP Geospatial Support
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o State Geospatial Volunteers Registry
o Mobile Geospatial Response Vehicle
o Other Enterprise Geospatial Applications
o JNET/GIS Integration
o Definition of Minimal Local and Regional Geospatial Capabilities
The Bureau of Geospatial Technologies (BGT) resides within the Governor’s Office of
Administration, Office for Information Technology (OA/OIT), and was formed in
October 2003 and further expanded in response to Executive Order 2004-8 which
establishes Geospatial Technology (GT) primacy for the Commonwealth in OA/OIT.
Prior to the establishment of this office, Pennsylvania lacked an entity responsible for
Statewide GT Coordination which left Pennsylvania fragmented in GT operations, data
sharing, and homeland security and public safety initiatives. Outlined below are the
BGT Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles, and Goals.
The Bureau of Geospatial Technologies develops the Geospatial Enterprise Architecture for
Pennsylvania, enhances the Commonwealth’s geospatial preparedness, coordinates Executive
agency and enterprise geospatial initiatives, and facilitates geospatial interoperability and data
sharing across all levels of government in support of defined Pennsylvania priorities and the
National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
Geospatial Technologies will improve how governments collaborate, will provide timely and
relevant information to decision makers, and will improve the safety, welfare, and quality of life
for the Commonwealth of its citizens.
o Improve government services
o Geospatial Enterprise Architecture Development
o Leverage every dollar spent for the extended enterprise
o Maximize sharing of ideas, knowledge, data and applications
o Listen and understand partner needs and priorities to inform decision-making
o Remain agile and open to new ideas, always guided by a long-range plan
o Maintain constant awareness of trends and opportunities
o Relationships and communications trump technologies
o To make Commonwealth government operations more effective and efficient.
o To develop the GEA to guide investments and GESA to build centralized geospatial assets
for use by all governments and first responders in the Commonwealth.
o To improve geospatial data management efforts.
o To establish a Statewide GT Council to augment GT governance within Commonwealth
o To define data stewards to reduce overlap and duplication of Commonwealth geospatial
o To define geospatial data standards that facilitate data sharing.
o To build sustainable geospatial capabilities and capacity across the extended enterprise.
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In order to gain support and understanding of its mission, BGT facilitated the creation
of a GT Governance Structure (See Geospatial Appendix A) within state government
to increase communication and guide GT decision-making. The policy-oriented GT
Advisory Council (GTAC) has guided BGT toward areas with public safety and
homeland security benefits and which advance the overall GT goals for the
1.2 Geospatial Business Model
As suggested in Executive Order 2004-8, Agencies, Boards and Commissions under the
Governor’s jurisdictions that share common or related missions, business practices, or
customers, were placed into one or more Communities of Practice (CoP). Over the past
year, the Homeland Security/Public Safety, Environmental, General Government
Operations, and Health & Human Services CoPs have all identified specific projects
dependent on GT for their success. In many cases, BGT will facilitate coordination
with local, state and federal agencies to accomplish common goals and execute the
Community of Practice projects; and as required, enterprise partners will include the
private sector, academia, and government agencies in other states.
In June 2005, BGT consolidated outreach to agencies by using the CoP structure to
create the Geospatial Community of Practice for PA (GeoCoPA). This reduces the
number of individual meetings needed for BGT to communicate with agencies on their
projects, to brief them on enterprise projects, and to fortify the linkages with the CoPs
across agencies. BGT continues to meet with state agencies, Urban Area Security
Initiatives (UASI) regions and Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Forces (RCTTFs)
upon request, to work on joint projects, in addition to conducting regular meetings with
its various working groups and providing direct support to the Pennsylvania Emergency
Agency (PEMA) and the Office of Homeland Security (OHS).
1.3 Geospatial Policies/Standards/Best Practices Model
The OA/OIT is responsible for developing and administering statewide policies and
standards governing management and use of the Commonwealth’s information
technology resources. Policies and standards are established and communicated
through documents referred to as Information Technology Bulletins (ITBs) and
The OA/OIT has organized all of its technical standards and policies into 10 primary
Enterprise Architecture domains. These domains include: Access, Application,
Enterprise Project Management, Information, Integration, Network, Platform, Privacy,
Security, and Systems Management. These Domains can be further categorized by
Disciplines and Technology Areas.
BGT serves as the “Geospatial Domain” and is responsible for the development and
establishment of GT standards, policies, and best practices which ultimately align to the
Information Domain. BGT receives its policy and standards direction and guidance
primarily from the GTAC and the Homeland Security IT Governance Workgroup.
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1.4 BGT Current Projects Related to Homeland Security, Public Safety and First
BGT has identified current geospatial projects related to data sharing and the
development of geospatial preparedness capabilities for Homeland Security, Public
Safety, and First Responders. See Geospatial Appendix B for details.
Section II. Geospatial Preparedness Goals
The geospatial preparedness goals discussed in this section are indicated as strategic initiatives of BGT
to address Commonwealth-defined public safety, emergency response, and homeland security needs.
BGT, counties, UASI regions, RCTTFs and Citizen Corps initiatives related to geospatial preparedness
will continue to seek federal funding sources to address these broad goals. These initiatives can be
mapped to areas of DHS ODP funding guidelines including:
• Staffing, as allowed by the various SHSGP grant programs for training, exercises, etc.
• Equipment: IT, GIS, GPS, wireless handheld devices, etc.
• Training and Exercises
• WMD/CBRNE Response Capabilities
In addition to defining current and future geospatial initiatives related to Commonwealth preparedness
and an all-hazards approach, this section also defines a set of minimal geospatial capabilities that are
desirable for the enterprise, including geospatial planning, geospatial data creation and maintenance
activities, development of local and regional geospatial data sharing architectures, and planning and
exercises to build and improve our capabilities.
2.1 Geospatial Data
2.1.1 Geospatial Data Prioritization
Pennsylvania has defined the following framework geospatial data layer priorities for
statewide geospatial assets:
1. Statewide High Resolution Orthoimagery
2. Statewide High Resolution Elevation Data
3. Statewide Addressed and Routable Roads
4. Critical Infrastructure (various)
5. Statewide Addressed Parcels
6. Statewide Addressed Buildings
7. Statewide Hydrography
9. Statewide Surveyed Boundaries
10. Place Names
11. Other Transportation Features
12. Statewide Land Cover
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State agencies, UASI regions, RCTTFs, counties, and local governments each spend
taxpayer dollars on these datasets. Funding for creation, purchase, and maintenance
should be allowed provided that all data is shared.
2.1.2 Critical Infrastructure
There are many definitions of critical infrastructure, including those officially defined
by DHS, as well as items defined by each state, RCTTF, UASI region, and counties.
The definition may vary by region, but typically includes the highest risk facilities and
key assets, no matter whether the facilities are urban or rural.
Pennsylvania has defined a number of statewide critical infrastructure layers, including
nuclear power plants, other energy-related facilities, major utility transmission lines and
pipelines, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, schools, emergency services stations
(fire, police, EMS), major pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, etc.
State agencies, UASI regions, RCTTFs, counties, and local governments each spend
taxpayer dollars on these datasets. Funding for creation, purchase, and maintenance
should be allowed provided that all data is shared. For data that is not owned outright,
PEMA and BGT will work together to provide enterprise licenses for data sets for the
Commonwealth as possible.
2.1.3 Geospatial Data Stewardship
BGT is currently working with state agencies to define geospatial data stewardship
agreements, so that specific agencies are tasked with creating, maintaining, and
supplying geospatial datasets to the enterprise.
BGT conducted an inventory of the geospatial data holdings that exist within the
agencies. The inventory was conducted to understand what geospatial data is
created and maintained by agencies, what agency data is used by other agencies, and to
determine what federal, commercial and other enterprise datasets are being used or are
needed. The information received through the inventory will be reviewed and assessed
by BGT and the Geospatial Technologies Steering Committee (GTSC) to determine
data stewardship responsibilities, a standard projection and datum for data sharing, and
to identify Metadata (information about the source, currency, and quality of the data)
needs and data redundancies across the enterprise.
There are costs associated with data creation and maintenance; in addition, metadata
must be created, QA/QC must be performed, and the enterprise geospatial database
must be updated periodically by each data steward. Other agency business
requirements should be considered in order to reduce data duplication and manipulation,
which may also impose additional costs.
BGT is working with other organizations to identify local government geospatial
datasets and the appropriate data stewards for each. Local governments have been
recognized as creating and maintaining the majority of the framework data layers. It
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will be the state’s duty to aggregate local government datasets, providing statewide data
layers for the same.
Data stewardship may be formally defined via Memoranda of Understanding between
OIT/BGT and the defined data stewards and will indicate which geospatial data sets are
covered by the agreement, attempt to identify other stakeholders, identify stakeholder
business requirements, and identify requirements such as data update frequency and
publication to the enterprise geospatial data repository.
2.1.4 Geospatial Data Consolidation
A single source of statewide geospatial data for the Commonwealth is desirable and
necessary. Placing all enterprise geospatial data assets, agency geospatial data assets
that need to be shared, and federal and local government data into a single repository
provides all stakeholders with a single point of reference to always find the best
available, most current, and accurate data. This is a fundamental requirement in order
to facilitate geospatial data sharing.
As technology changes, more federated geospatial data systems will become possible,
which will lead to more distributed data systems being available through a centralized
portal, with transparency of where the data actually resides.
State agencies, counties, municipalities, RCTTFs, UASI regions, and other regional
organizations will benefit from seamless, statewide geospatial datasets for use in local,
regional, statewide, and public safety planning, prevention, protection, response, and
recovery activities. Federal partners will also be allowed to access the
Commonwealth’s geospatial data assets.
2.1.5 Geospatial Data Sharing
Each level of government in Pennsylvania is responsible for specific layers of data
needed to populate the enterprise geospatial database with the highest quality, current,
and accurate information available. Each level of government maintains their
geospatial data to support their business functions.
To promote interoperability and to make a modern base map possible, the GIS
community has defined geospatial data sharing standards for the Commonwealth. The
Pennsylvania Geospatial Data Sharing Standards (PGDSS) are defined as a minimal
data sharing standard, in that only those fields that have been deemed necessary for the
common good have been included. The PGDSS layer definitions are not designed as
production standards for operational use within a county or other organization, although
they might be used as such if desired. They are meant to support data interoperability
and sharing across jurisdictions.
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) worked on the framework data layer definitions, and
also reviewed FGDC and other industry standards in order to minimize duplication of
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The Commonwealth will benefit from the use of more accurate and current geospatial
data provided by the local government community and aggregated at the state level.
The PGDSS and related data stewardship responsibilities will form the basis for data
exchange and data aggregation between local and state government, and as such are
critical to the GEA and GESA.
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) mapping services promote interoperability and
2.1.6 Geospatial Metadata
FGDC-compliant metadata is necessary for all geospatial datasets in order to facilitate
data discovery and appropriate uses of geospatial datasets. Creation and maintenance of
metadata and metadata training are important initiatives.
2.1.7 Federal Geospatial Data Support
There are many federal agencies and initiatives that require state and local data support.
Each of these initiatives requires state and local geospatial datasets. A brief listing of
• Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
• National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)
• The National Map (TNM)
• Geospatial One Stop (GOS)
• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Minimum Essential Data
2.2 Geospatial Interoperability
Commercial data products and vendors that do not provide for reasonable enterprise data
licenses and proprietary data and technology products that create islands of capabilities that are
not available across the enterprise are to be avoided. Geospatial interoperability requires that
capabilities are available across all levels of government in the Commonwealth in order to
afford a coordinated, multi-level government response.
2.2.1. Multi-level Data Sharing
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for data interoperability across software
platforms enable data sharing across multiple levels of government regardless of native
data formats used by the geospatial community. The PGDSS also provides for data
sharing vertically across levels of government and horizontally across local political
2.2.2. Avoidance of Proprietary Geospatial Applications and Data
Some software and data products are proprietary, and do not interoperate with existing
enterprise geospatial products and data. These products should not be purchased with
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DHS or other federal or state grant funding unless an enterprise license is procured.
These products should require a waiver and a business justification in order to use
federal or state grant funding. Use of these products that are not available across the
entire enterprise create islands of capabilities that detract from the ability to coordinate
across multiple levels of government as is necessary for preparedness, including
planning, prevention, protection, response, and recovery.
2.2.3. Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Mapping Services
OGC defines standards for platform independent data services, including Web Mapping
Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS), and other interoperable geospatial
services. Pennsylvania is one of only a few states that is an OGC member and has
adopted OGC-compliant web services in order to share geospatial data from the
enterprise geospatial database across the Commonwealth to our government and first
response business partners.
2.3 Geospatial Enterprise Architecture (GEA)
GEA is made up of many components. These include geospatial policies, the identification of
technical software standards, development of server architectures, development of an enterprise
geospatial database, and the development of essential shared services and web services.
2.3.1. Geospatial Policies and Standards
BGT is developing policies and standards for:
• Standards for Geospatial Interoperability, including guidelines for purchase
of proprietary geospatial data and application systems
• Grant language for state agency grant programs to local governments and
other grantees requiring sharing of geospatial data purchased or created
through these grant programs
• GIS Technology Software Standards for State Agencies
• Utilization of BGT’s Geospatial Enterprise Server Architecture
2.3.2. Geospatial Shared Services/Web Services
Web services promote reusability and standardization of business processes. BGT is
creation numerous geospatial XML web services to provide enterprise capabilities that
can be shared across the geospatial enterprise community, served out through secure
Internet and intranet servers. In addition, BGT has established a shared services
environment, including enterprise services and an application hosting environment.
2.3.3. Geospatial Enterprise Server Architecture (GESA)
The GESA was designed as a fault tolerant, high availability, 24x7 geospatial server
architecture and is managed by the Commonwealth Technology Center/Enterprise
Server Farm (CTC/ESF) Managed Services. It is comprised of a development lab
located at Forum Place, and staging and production environments, and serves as
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Commonwealth’s GT data repository where all data that needs to be shared will be
stored. The GEA is also an Internet and Intranet application hosting environment for
state agency and BGT GT applications and essential services, and also includes a
centralized licensing manager for serving ArcGIS Desktop and Extension software to
the state agencies. See Geospatial Appendix C for additional details.
126.96.36.199 Geospatial Enterprise Database
The GESA contains the enterprise geospatial database, a multi-terabyte ESRI
ArcSDE/Oracle database with database instances for vector data, raster data
(imagery and elevation), and real-time data (weather).
188.8.131.52 Geospatial Application Hosting
The GESA provides a high-availability, fault tolerant, 24x7 application intranet
and Internet hosting environment to serve BGT and other agency geospatial web
services and mapping applications. Mission critical applications for public
safety, emergency response, and homeland security are hosted in this
environment. OGC-compliant mapping services are hosted in this environment
for interoperable data sharing. The geospatial portals are hosted in the Internet
environment and also provide for data sharing capabilities.
2.3 Geospatial Enterprise Strengthening
Geospatial enterprise strengthening involves improving the Commonwealth’s ability to support
the enterprise geospatial mission, especially for public safety and homeland security.
2.4.1. Geospatial Training
BGT has developed an enterprise training program for state agencies, concentrating on
core capabilities of the use of ESRI GIS desktop tools for data creation, analysis and
mapping. Additional needs for more advanced training and geospatial application
development and web services are needed, but cannot be supported with current BGT
Targeted geospatial training is required by counties, UASI regions, and RCTTFs as
well. Training is needed for non-technical managers as well as in-depth technical
training for advanced geospatial capabilities and the business applications of public
safety and homeland security.
2.4.2. Geospatial Equipment
State agencies, counties, UASI regions, and RCTTFs need equipment including GIS
software, relational databases, servers, desktop and laptop computers, Global
Positioning Systems (GPS), wireless field reporting devices, plotters and printers in
order to build effective geospatial capabilities and systems.
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2.4.3. State GT Council
BGT’s current enterprise geospatial technologies governance model works well within
the state agencies, but is not inclusive of local governments, public safety groups,
academia, utilities, and private industry. To better understand the global needs of
Commonwealth geospatial stakeholders, BGT is working with other stakeholders to
define a Pennsylvania State GT Council concept of operations.
2.4.4. Commonwealth GT Strategic Plan
BGT has developed a strategic plan to support its 3-year vision and mission. It includes
needs of the Commonwealth state agencies and the enterprise, and includes many
capabilities that will benefit other government and first responder business partners.
A Commonwealth GT Strategic/Business Plan that incorporates the needs of all
geospatial stakeholders will be developed over the next year, and will reflect the needs
defined by the State GT Council.
2.4.5. State Coordinated Local and Regional Geospatial Projects
BGT has several multi-level government geospatial projects planned utilizing SHSGP
2005 funding. One involves a federated GIS data architecture project and the second
involves a data sharing initiative with six counties in rural Pennsylvania to aggregate
the roadway information and test the PGDSS roadway standards, working in
conjunction with PENNDOT.
Other opportunities for multiple level projects for data sharing, interoperability, and
other preparedness, public safety, and homeland security needs will be sought by BGT
as an enterprise strengthening exercise.
2.4.6. Enterprise CBRNE and Preparedness Geospatial Application Projects
BGT has several enterprise projects for WMD/CBRNE capabilities building, including
an enterprise severe weather alerting and plume modeling project, and several data
consolidation projects utilizing the IRRIS/GEARS geospatial portal technologies.
2.4.7. State Data Fusion/Intelligence Center
The state data fusion center will build a new intelligence capability for Pennsylvania,
integrating data from agencies, DHS, other federal agencies, local governments,
RCTTFs, law enforcement, etc. Intelligence looks at patterns defined in terms of
location and time in order to determine threats and to prevent events from taking place.
To be effective, enterprise geospatial technologies must be at the heart of the data
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2.4.8. Geospatial Portal Applications
The Geospatial Emergency Alert and Response System (GEARS) functionality is an
existing geospatial portal tool constructed by a Pennsylvania company and utilized by
military organizations in the U.S. The military version of the product is called IRRIS,
and approximately $15M has been invested by the federal government in this
technology. An initial GEARS portal and the complete GEARS operational
architecture is being developed using DHS ITEP grant funding from 2004, utilizing
Pennsylvania-specific geospatial data sets and customized to our specific application
needs. This initial portal, called the Geospatial Analysis of Threats and Incident
Reports (GATIR), will augment the Commonwealth’s PA Emergency Incident
Response System (PEIRS), the Commonwealth’s enterprise incident management
BGT will also receive additional DHS funding from the 2005 State Homeland Security
Grant Program to implement a Department of Health Geospatial GEARS Portal, and
will implement a third GEARS geospatial portal for the Department of Transportation,
utilizing federal earmarks from the Federal Highway Administration. The capabilities
being developed for these portals will provide a single application framework to
visualize all threats and emergency incidents across the Commonwealth, and will
therefore play a critical role in the development of the Commonwealth’s Homeland
Security Data Fusion/Intelligence Center.
Funding for additional geospatial portals in support of the data fusion center intelligence
function and other preparedness needs will be developed in the future, using state and
other sources of funding as available.
2.4.9. NIMS/NRP Geospatial Support
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) calls for incident maps to be
created by the planning section and situation units, utilizing GIS.
The National Response Plan (NRP) calls for geospatial capabilities for flood recovery
mapping, situation assessment, food supply safety and security, NCH resources
protection, animal and plant disease and pest response, public safety and security
assessment, facilities recovery decision making across ESFs, energy system damage
assessments, use in intelligence, modeling, decision support systems and forecasting,
and calls for GIS support specifically for incident management.
2.4.10. State Geospatial Volunteers Registry
BGT and PEMA will seek funding from the Citizens Corp to develop a State Geospatial
Volunteers Registry to track trained individuals with specific capabilities that can be
called upon in case of an event that requires response and recovery activities.
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2.4.11. Mobile Geospatial Response Vehicle
Pennsylvania should have a mobile geospatial response vehicle and trained personnel
who can be deployed quickly to a remote site in order to support ICS response and
recovery activities. This would include a mobile vehicle or towable trailer, a wireless
network, wireless data collection devices and GPS, a data server, end user computers,
plotters, and printers.
2.4.12. Other Enterprise Geospatial Applications
Development of other geospatial applications are needed and desired. There are many
capabilities that need programmatic support for public safety and homeland security,
• First Responder Building Mapping System – includes building footprints,
floor and engineering plans, pictures, contacts, etc.
2.4.13. JNET/GIS Integration
JNET is the Commonwealth’s secure law enforcement information network. Shared
applications and a secure publication/subscription network have been developed for use
across the LE community. None of the current capabilities include mapping or
geospatial analysis. BGT and JNET may seek funding for a JNET/GIS integration.
2.4.14. Definition of Minimal Local and Regional Geospatial Capabilities
The following capabilities are recommended as minimal geospatial preparedness
requirements for all county governments, UASI areas, and RCTTFs in the
Commonwealth. As such, the majority of these activities should be eligible for DHS
ODP grant funding:
• GIS Strategic Plan (all)
• GIS Subcommittee/Governance (UASI and RCTTF)
• Geospatial Data Stewardship/Data Sharing Agreements (all)
• Geospatial Metadata Creation and Management (all)
• Creation and maintenance of geospatial framework data layers, critical
infrastructure and key asset data layers (all)
• Geospatial Relational Database (all)
• OGC-compliant Internet Mapping Services for data sharing (all)
• Development of geospatial applications for resource tracking, specific
WMD/CBRNE capabilities, support of NIMS mapping requirements, etc.
• Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) Data Service Registration (all)
• Full-time GIS staff dedicated to emergency response training and exercises
• Annual Geospatial Training Plan, including GIS 101 for managers and in-
depth GIS and emergency response technical training for GIS staff (all)
• Annual Exercise Plan for Geospatial Capabilities (all)
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Section III Summary
This geospatial addendum to the SHSAS serves several purposes. First it identifies current geospatial
capabilities and initiatives that have been developed to date, and that can be further developed to
support other public safety and homeland security business functions.
Second, it identifies new areas for continued development and capabilities building, that will require
additional investments at multiple levels within the Commonwealth, including counties, UASI regions,
RCTTFs, and state agencies. Defining them within the SHSAS provides a basis for potential funding
of initiatives to solve all-hazards business problems at multiple levels.
It defines some minimum geospatial capabilities desirable for counties, UASI regions and RCTTFs to
develop in order to build a strong preparedness at all levels of government in the Commonwealth, and
to support an enterprise Common Operating View.
Investments must be made to build additional geospatial capabilities in the following categories:
• Geospatial Data
• Geospatial Interoperability
• Geospatial Enterprise Architecture
• Geospatial Enterprise Strengthening
Investments may be made to develop, create, maintain, purchase, or license geospatial products within
each category. Investments may include product purchases, contracted services, development of
training and exercise staffing, and cost of equipment for IT, GIS and GPS.
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Geospatial Appendix B: BGT Current Projects Related to Homeland Security, Public Safety and
This white paper provides information on projects related to homeland security and public safety that
the Bureau of Geospatial Technologies (BGT) is currently involved in with active or planned
This information is current as of 28 September 2005 and as complete as possible. For additional
information, please contact Jim Knudson, Director, BGT, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-705-9844.
PAMAP Imagery and Elevation Program
BGT and DCNR have proposed major investments in a Commonwealth-wide program to maintain
accurate and current aerial orthoimagery and elevation data for Pennsylvania. While significant in
cost, the return on investment (RoI) of accurate and current imagery and elevation data can be realized
in a single major event such as Tropical Depression (TD) Ivan in September 2004 and the yearlong
recovery efforts that have followed. Through the PAMAP program, 28 counties were flown in 2005
utilizing state agency funding, and 21 counties remain in 2006 to complete the first statewide, high-
resolution imagery product. The PAMAP imagery program will require sustainable funding for a 3-
year maintenance program thereafter.
Elevation data was the highest-ranked long term recommendation to the Governor from the State
Recovery Task Force following TD Ivan. Completion of this program will allow us to identify
floodplains, identify people who do not have national flood insurance that need it, and provide public
safety organizations with the ability to predict flooding intensity and impact, which they cannot do
today due to the poor quality and aged elevation data available in the Commonwealth. We are seeking
funding to complete a statewide, high resolution elevation program for the Commonwealth over the
next 2-3 years.
Imagery and elevation data drive the county data creation process. By providing statewide,
standardized imagery and elevation products, we will help counties move toward a standard map
accuracy standard for all of their geospatial data layers, which should be shared with the
PA Geospatial Data Sharing Standards (PGDSS)
In an effort to promote horizontal and vertical sharing of geospatial data, BGT and DCNR Bureau of
Topographic and Geologic Survey (BTGS) worked with the PA Mapping and Geographic Information
Consortium (PaMAGIC) to facilitate the development of PGDSS version 2. PGDSS version 2 has 10
“framework” layers defined:
o Water Bodies
o Other Transportation (railroads, airports, ports, utilities, etc.)
o Place Names
o Digital Orthophotography
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o Digital Elevation Data
o Geodetic Monumentation
o Political Boundaries
Locations of these facilities and a minimal set of attributes are defined for each framework data layer.
In addition, Land Cover is expected to be created as an 11th framework data layer by DCNR.
The definitions of these data standards/data models will allow information to be shared vertically
(municipalities to counties, counties to state, and vice versa), and horizontally (municipality to
municipality, county to county, etc.) with a single, standardized format to facilitate data sharing. This
is critically important to the state in that we will now be able to aggregate data from all 67 counties in a
single format to create and maintain statewide geospatial data layers. PAMAP agreements request that
counties provide their data in PGDSS format to the Commonwealth quarterly.
Real-Time Weather and Plume Modeling Project
In the 2004 State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), BGT received a grant to develop an
enterprise real-time weather and plume modeling system for public safety and homeland security.
Most of this funding has been used for implementation of an enterprise geospatial data repository as
well as an application hosting environment for this project. An RFP for weather data and plume
modeling application services will be released shortly to finalize the grant project expenditures for the
implementation of this initial system. The capabilities will be made available to all state agencies as
well as Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Forces (RCTTFs) and County Emergency Managers at a
minimum. BGT’s desire is to share this information with all first responders, but we may not have
enough funding for an enterprise data license to include this population of users.
Enterprise Geospatial Technologies Data Architecture (EGTDA) Project
BGT applied for and received a competitive Information Technology Evaluation Program (ITEP) grant
from DHS for $603K (project includes an additional $200K+ state matching funds from BGT for this
75%-25% federal grant program) to develop a secure and interoperable geospatial data access
repository and portal to support the homeland security and public safety missions of state agencies and
the Commonwealth’s first response communities. BGT selected a contractor to assist with project
implementation to design and load the enterprise geospatial database where all state agency data that
needs to be shared will be hosted and will include all enterprise data assets such as PAMAP imagery
and elevation data.
Phase 1 of the project is to share geospatial data in an interoperable format with all state agencies, local
governments, and first responders via the Internet. Phase 2 will develop a secure geospatial portal for
information sharing, mapping and analysis. Phase 3 will develop lightweight, reusable web services
components to standardize and facilitate faster development of future GIS and information sharing
BGT is working with the selected contractor to create Commonwealth Homeland Security/Public
Safety geospatial portal applications for state agencies and data sharing with local governments and
first responders. We are currently using the ITEP grant funding to implement the first of these
geospatial application portals for PEMA to be used in conjunction with the PEMA PA Emergency
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Incident Reporting System (PEIRS). This system will provide robust geospatial visualization and
analysis capabilities of all of the reportable incidents occurring across the Commonwealth.
The Geospatial Emergency Alert and Response System (GEARS) functionality is an existing
geospatial portal tool constructed by a Pennsylvania company and utilized by military organizations in
the U.S. The military version of the product is called IRRIS, and approximately $15M has been
invested by the federal government in this technology. An initial GEARS portal and the complete
GEARS operational architecture is being developed as part of this project, utilizing Pennsylvania-
specific geospatial data sets and customized to our specific application needs.
BGT will also receive additional DHS funding from the 2005 State Homeland Security Grant Program
to implement a Department of Health Geospatial GEARS Portal, and will implement a third GEARS
geospatial portal for the Department of Transportation, utilizing federal earmarks from the Federal
Highway Administration. The capabilities being developed for these portals will provide a single
application framework to visualize all threats and emergency incidents across the Commonwealth, and
will therefore play a critical role in the development of the Commonwealth’s Homeland Security Data
2005 State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Projects
BGT submitted 7 smaller joint project grants for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of
Domestic Preparedness (ODP) funding from the 2005 SHSGP state funding share, all of which were
selected for funding. The PAMAP imagery program will directly receive funding via a grant written
by BGT, and a local government data sharing application for 11 counties in rural north central
Pennsylvania will also be directly funded. One project will involve an enterprise geospatial data
license procurement, and the other 4 projects will be application or data development services contracts
managed by BGT. The 5 projects BGT will directly manage through the SHSGP grant funding are
Places2Protect Enterprise License
BGT will purchase an enterprise commercial license for the Commonwealth for the
Places2Protect geospatial data set, which includes data for:
o Critical Facilities (emergency medical and responder locations and information on their
capabilities) – hospitals, ambulance services, urgent and other medical care facilities,
police stations, fire departments, city halls, city, county, and state health departments,
and red cross chapters
o Captive Populations (locations of institutionalized populations and other sites that may
require extensive evacuation resources) – schools, school districts, child care facilities,
colleges and universities, nursing/retirement homes, senior centers, handicapped
children/residential treatment centers, runaway and homeless centers, jails/correctional
institutions and sheriff departments, domestic violence programs and shelters, and
The enterprise license will provide use of this data for all Commonwealth governments and
first responders, and will include Pennsylvania and surrounding states coverage. PA will
receive quarterly Places2Protect data updates from MCH/Ionic, and will host this data in the
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enterprise geospatial database as well as distribute to other government organizations and first
Over time, we hope to improve state agency databases with this data and maintain better data
internally, but for now, this data resource will support statewide, reasonably complete data
asset requirements, as well as providing information from surrounding states.
PEMA Homeland Security Data Viewer Application
PEMA developed a geospatial web application in 2003-2004 for Homeland Security called the
Homeland Security Viewer (HLS Viewer), using ESRI ArcIMS and ArcSDE server GIS
components. The application was preliminarily tested in 2004 and demonstrated to PEMA
watch officers, the Office of Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Geospatial Technologies
(BGT). This tool will provide access to HS Critical Infrastructure (CI) data and key assets, as
well as providing an easy to use web interface for finding locations or places of interest,
providing access to PEMA geospatial assets, and performing some simple visualization,
analysis, and reporting functions.
The HLS Viewer was never fully completed, and when we tried to use it during Tropical
Depression Ivan incident response, we found it to be lacking in several needed capabilities,
including security, intranet/Internet access outside of the PEMA network and building, the
ability to get a latitude/longitude readout from the application, and to integrate other sources of
data into the application. Deployment to the BGT GIS Server Farm and developing enhanced
security authentication mechanisms will allow this application to be deployed on the Internet as
well as the intranet, so that all authorized users can access the application from any location
with web access and broadband connectivity.
Health Geospatial Portal (GEARS)
The purpose of this project is to design and implement a Department of Health Geospatial
Portal that will provide an advanced technology information sharing system and enable the
Pennsylvania Department of Health and state and local emergency response agencies to benefit
from the collection, integration, management, and dissemination of a wide range of event and
emergency management information with associated geospatial visualization and analysis
capabilities. Focus will be given to geospatial application development related to Health’s
defined business needs for:
♦ National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) Visualization
♦ Facilities Resource Emergency Database (FRED) Visualization
♦ Real-time Outbreak Disease Surveillance (RODS) Visualization
♦ Potassium Iodide (KI) Stockpile Locations, Distribution Points, and Distribution
♦ Bioterrorism National Stockpile Locations/Inventory Database, Visualization and
Objectives for the Health Geospatial Portal project include the following:
SHSAS – GT Addendum Draft Page 18
♦ Provide an integrated, secure, real-time network of information from one common
interface, resulting in a system that is a “one-stop-shop” for public health-related
emergency information needed for an incident or event.
♦ Integrate existing health and hospital databases such as NEDSS (disease surveillance),
FRED (hospital capabilities and status), and RODS (pharmacy drug distribution) into a
single, secure geospatial portal for visualization and analysis.
♦ Be scalable to handle small local issues as well as significant regional and statewide
♦ Support regional, public, and private cooperation to facilitate the best possible
protection and response for health emergencies.
PENNDOT Local Roads Pilot Project
This pilot project will involve working with PENNDOT and the North Central Planning
Commission to create, collect, and aggregate county road geospatial data, provided in PA
Geospatial Data Sharing Standard Format, v.2, to create an aggregated regional data product
that includes PENNDOT attributes for state roads with county information from the six rural
NCPC counties of: Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter.
Two-thirds of the requested funds ($200K) will go to NCPC to collect and process road and
address data for their 6 counties, convert to PGDSS v.2 format, and provide quarterly updates
to the PAMAP Program Office for one year for delivery to PENNDOT for aggregation and
This pilot project will enable PENNDOT’s Bureau of Planning and Research/Geographic
Information Division to work with local road data from 6 counties to design, build, and assess
an integrated road network. The pilot project will result in many lessons learned that will
enable a statewide project to be successful and the creation of an integrated state highway/local
road database design and network to support enterprise system needs. It is expected that some
changes will need to be made in county road database designs and the PGDSS to establish
unique identifiers for all local roads in the Commonwealth. However, until a pilot project is
completed, these required changes will not be known. Likewise, the cost for PENNDOT to
work with all counties to create a complete integrated state/local road network for the
Commonwealth cannot be accurately estimated until a pilot project is completed.
Statewide Utilities Critical Infrastructure Development Project
Today, the Commonwealth is depending on commercial datasets for Critical Infrastructure
utility information from companies like Pennwell, because Pennsylvania has not authorized and
funded the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to collect geospatial data from utility companies
that operate within and transmit across the state. This dataset is only licensed to PEMA, and is
not allowed to be posted on the intranet/Internet or shared with any other organizations, such as
other first response agencies and Pennsylvania’s 9 RCTTFs.
The electric grid and petroleum/natural gas transmission lines that cross the Commonwealth
present significant targets to potential threat elements (PTEs) and terrorists. Without creating
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more accurate and current major utilities network data with a plan to maintain it, Pennsylvania
will remain at significant risk, and not have accurate and current data to help plan, monitor,
respond and recover in case of an accident or incident. The transportation network for
petroleum and natural gas transmission provides many targets.
This project will create base geospatial data for major electric transmission lines, power
generating facilities, and major substations for the electrical utilities. It will also generate base
geospatial data for petroleum and natural gas transmission pipelines as well as compressor
stations and underground storage facilities. We will work with federal utilities organizations
(Office of Pipeline Safety, etc.), PA PUC and Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. to determine
geospatial data that is currently available prior to contracting for creation of new data.
All generated statewide geospatial data for electric and petroleum/natural gas will be added to
PEMA and RCTTF geospatial databases, and will be stored as part of the BGT enterprise
geospatial database in a secure Oracle schema to control access.
L&I PennSAFE Application
BGT is starting to work with Labor and Industry and their contractor, IDSi, to support hazardous
materials storage and reporting by businesses in the Commonwealth and will host the entire PennSAFE
application in our shared services geospatial architecture environment and support the mapping
component of the IDSi application, which will be shared in a secure Internet application with PEMA
and first responders.
Ag PAHerds Application
BGT is starting to work with Agriculture and their contractor, CAI, to support animal disease mapping
in Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the existing PAHerds disease tracking application. The
developed mapping component for the PAHerds application will be hosted in BGT’s shared services
geospatial architecture environment.
Agency Data Collection/Consolidation Activities
o Corrections – putting together information on state correctional facilities, BGT is working with
PEMA and Corrections
o PSP – working with PSP on IIMS data management activities and consolidation of Critical
Infrastructure geospatial data across agencies, including CI ratings being developed by PSP’s
Office of Domestic Security (ODS)
o Health – working on improving hospital locations, and other licensed facilities
o PENNDOT – PENNDOT is working on a road closure and detour routing application. BGT
will meet with PENNDOT GIS in the coming weeks to discuss the development of a web
service that will allow PEMA and other emergency response agencies to tap into the database
of road closure events. BGT and PENNDOT are working together with TrafficLand to
implement the ability to harvest all of PENNDOT’s traffic cameras into a central traffic
management center in Harrisburg and to serve out these images using the GEARS architecture.
Other BGT Projects
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BGT is implementing other projects for use by normal government business functions, which will also
play a role in supporting homeland security and public safety initiatives:
Enterprise/Essential Geospatial Web Services
BGT is developing lightweight, reusable eXtensible Markup Language (XML) web service
application components that can be used for all government operations for application
o Address Geocoding
o USPS Address Verification
o Address Verification and Geocoding (combined)
o Vehicle Routing
o Atmospheric Plume Modeling
o Spatial Search
Geospatial Standards and Policies
o BGT is developing policies and standards for:
Standards for Geospatial Interoperability
Guidelines for purchase of proprietary geospatial data and application systems
Grant language for state agency grant programs to local governments and other
grantees requiring sharing of geospatial data purchased or created through these
GIS Software Standards for State Agencies
Utilization of BGT’s Geospatial Enterprise Server Architecture
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