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The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced the Disasters Interoperability Concept Development Study (CDS) to assess the current state of data and product exchange technologies as used in disaster planning, response, and recovery. The information gained in the CDS will aid in developing a series of future pilots that will in turn advance the state of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) that support disaster risk reduction across the globe.

Geospatial information has been proven effective in supporting both the understanding of and response to disasters. The supported activities include identifying at-risk areas by building scientific models and analyzing historical data, to assessing damage and coordinating response teams using near real-time imagery and data in the wake of a crisis, and many other applications in-between.

However, the ability to effectively share, use, and reuse geospatial information and applications across and between governments and non-government organizations in support of disaster response and resilience is dependent on having the required partnerships, policies, standards, architecture, and technologies already in-place when disaster strikes.

The Disasters Interoperability CDS is being organized by the OGC and sponsored by the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the U.S. Geological Survey, with the objectives of collating, documenting, and making freely available the knowledge and best practices required for geospatial information sharing in times of crisis.

To achieve these objectives, the CDS will bring together diverse stakeholders from the global disasters community to assess the current state of data exchange technologies (e.g., data, tools, APIs).

This OGC Innovation Program initiative will lay the groundwork for multiple OGC Pilot Projects during the next five years. These pilots will, in turn, advance the ability of SDIs to support disaster risk reduction.

By combining the information gained in this CDS with future OGC Testbeds and Pilot Projects, the OGC and its members will demonstrate the richness, benefits, and value of using international standards to provide geospatial data in support of disaster planning, response, and recovery.

This study and subsequent initiatives will show how data standards help stakeholders and decision makers gain new and beneficial perspectives into social, economic, and environmental issues related to disasters by providing access to an online network of resources that improve the sharing, use, and integration of information tied to geographic locations across the globe.

For more information on the Disasters Interoperability CDS, participation in workshops, or responding to a Request for Information issued in February, visit www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/disasterscds or contact Terry Idol at tidol@opengeospatial.org.

Information provided by the Open Geospatial Consortium (www.opengeospatial.org), an international, not-for-profit organization committed to making quality open standards for the global geospatial community.