Delivering Critical Geospatial Environmental Intelligence In a Collaborative Environment Across Common Operating Pictures (COPs)

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 4:00 PM
221A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Rafael Ameller, StormCenter Communications, Inc., Halethorpe, MD; and D. Jones and S. Perfater

Workflows with high levels of geospatial information sharing require a robust collaborative technology to improve environmental intelligence and decision making. A simple yet efficient approach to accessing and manipulating data collaboratively becomes critical to delivering the right information to the right people at the right time. This is especially important when working with decision makers, who are frequently non-GIS experts, and need to take action right away based on their situational awareness.

Current geospatial collaboration technologies are primarily limited to the archiving, sharing, and individual user display of geo-information via geospatial viewers and Common Operating Pictures (COPs), and desktop broadcast technologies such as GoToMeeting®, Adobe Connect® or WebEx®. These efforts are often described as collaborative in nature even though there is no actual real-time geospatial collaboration occurring; users must access geospatial datasets from individual computers, retrieving and displaying the datasets individually in order to have access to them and to combine them with their own datasets.

The provision of Geospatial and Environmental Intelligence needs to go beyond developing a data warehouse and identifying which kinds of geospatial viewers and tools are being used and who can access the data shared. A NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awarded to StormCenter Communications has enabled the development of unique and innovative collaborative technologies that provide effective situational awareness, geospatial product delivery and enable collaborative decision making to occur. Accurate and timely information can be shared in real-time and sets the stage for impact-based decision support services (IDSS), cross-platform collaboration and data sharing that cuts across all federal, state and local agencies including the private sector, NGOs and non-profits. Intelligent decision-making and effective decision support services require true collaboration between those who understand the data and those who make decisions.