Blueprint for Safety and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) using Sensors to

Advance Situational Awareness and Information Sharing

GEO Huntsville and Exemplar City’s Blueprint for Safety project are participating with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in scenario development, testing, validating and demonstrating sensor developments for situational awareness in support of the Incident Management Information Sharing (IMIS) Internet of Things (IoT) Pilot.

Through this project, the Blueprint for Safety (BfS) Team is bringing public safety stakeholders together with technologists and industry in an exercise/development environment to test, validate and demonstrate advancements made in the use of OGC standards for open geospatial interoperability -- more specifically, to test the feasibility of sensor deployments and exploitation by first responder groups. Collectively, these IoT-type technologies can be stress-tested based on the real-world operational requirements designed by the people who ultimately will be using them. Applying IoT principles to sensoring capabilities for incident management is critical to providing actionable information about responders and resources. Sensors can aid in our understanding and decision making by providing real-time information about responders and resources.

Early in the BfS program, we began a first-ever co-creative partnership with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) through an open source initiative. NGA’s first GitHub offering, GeoQ is an open source (MIT License) geographic tasking system that allows teams to collect geographic structured observations across a large area, but manage the work in smaller geographic regions. As part of Blueprint for Safety, GeoQ puts open source geospatial technologies at first responders’ fingertips to assist response organizations during crisis situations, leveraging a tactical operations workflow model as well as incorporating traditional and non-traditional map imagery and information. The tools allow users to rapidly examine areas affected by a crisis situation, input relevant details and disseminate this information to other responders in the field. Further, GeoQ currently has the ability to integrate numerous sources of real time information through IoT-type devices into a single operational picture. However, capabilities such as automatic deployment, discovery and access to sensor feeds are still needed. As such, the Blueprint for Safety team is working to integrate open source technologies such as the OGC’s Sensor Web Enablement (SWE)  Framework, SensorML and OpenSensorHub with GeoQ to further increase operational capabilities among responders.  A major goal of integrating OpenSensorHub with GeoQ is to allow rapid deployment and support of new and existing sensors with very little or no software development required and to allow immediate discovery, processing support and visualization to the responding community.

This co-creative environment expedites development, integration and operationalizes workflows needed to thoroughly test the prescribed technologies. Close communication facilitates spontaneous feedback to support rapid iterative development. Further, implementing prototype software, sensors and methods directly into the exercise environment allows processes and enhancements to be further refined and documented as we progress. The goal is to greatly enhance our ability to collect and incorporate lessons learned in near real time to the benefit of the public safety stakeholder community while creating a development environment that can be used to efficiently test conformance of vendor solutions.