FEMA seeks multihazard mapping framework

FEMA seeks multihazard mapping framework

As agencies feel the pressure to free up their stovepiped data, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking proposals for an interoperability framework that could combine spatial data from federal, state and local storehouses on the fly via the Web.

Jeff Harrison, director of interoperability programs for the Open GIS Consortium Inc. of Wayland, Mass., said FEMA as a consortium member asked for help in obtaining vendor proposals. He said he expects the request for quotations for the Multihazard Mapping Initiative (MMI), posted at ip.opengis.org/mmi, will involve 'cost-sharing proposals and in-kind contributions from software developers and integrators. There should be a lot of interest.'

The multihazard mapping at first will involve only natural hazards such as floods, hurricanes and seismic events. But a FEMA source said the framework 'might be designed so a similar mapping server could be set up for technological and other hazards.' The framework, he said, would operate in a distributed fashion with each jurisdiction maintaining its own data but advertising its accessibility from a FEMA server. MMI would limit graphical elements and transfer maps only in JPG or GIF format to minimize bandwidth needs.

Proposals for the MMI are due Nov. 21.

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