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GCN : March 2015
[BrieFing] 12 GCN MARCH 2015 • GCN.COM The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Lockheed Martin and Esri have deployed software to the Ama- zon Web Services Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) environment, a move that will help agencies more freely share and analyze geospatial intelligence world- wide. The move creates a portal for Esri’s ArcGIS geographic information sys- tem that will provide a single, secure environment via the cloud for analysts throughout the intelligence community to organize and share geospatial data. ArcGIS offers a range of tools and applications that let users link to geo- graphic information data to assemble and share maps. The companies involved called the development a “foundational step in consolidating multiple geospatial intel- ligence portals into the single NGA-pro- vided portal, resulting in technology and license cost savings.” “This cloud implementation also fur- ther shapes the government’s processes for architecting and implementing enterprise-class services within a cloud environment,” said Jason O’Connor, vice president of analysis and mission solutions for Lockheed. Esri President Jack Dangermond said the move underscores the importance of “consolidating geospatial intelligence in- formation via a single portal to facilitate rapid situational awareness and re- sponse by our intelligence community.” The move to set up a GIS portal on the cloud comes on the heels of the NGA’s move last fall to work with Lock- heed to move its Map of the World to the Amazon C2S environment. The Map of the World is an interface for geospatial intelligence data, designed to explore continuously updated content and link geospatial features to intelli- gence observations, according to NGA. Lockheed Martin and Esri have also partnered for the last eight years on the Geospatial-Intelligence Visualization Services (GVS) program, which helped NGA and the intelligence community accomplish the cloud migration. The Total Application Services for Enterprise Requirements GVS contract vehicle, originally awarded in 2012, offers geospatial visualization context and analytic capabilities to intelligence officers and policy-makers through clas- sified and unclassified networks. • NGA sets up geospatial intell portal on Amazon cloud The Federal Highway Administration has issued a request for information for developing a streamlined, one-stop shop that would open up its transpor- tation datasets for broad analysis and economic development by commercial and other government groups. One option being considered is the use of no-cost agreements wherein the data hosting company could create and charge for value-added services. The cloud-based repository would open the agency’s vast holdings of information on road and bridge invento- ries, travel and operational data, system user data, fiscal data and pavement research, all of which the FHWA says provide economic value and promote environmental awareness. Currently only a small percentage of FHWA’s data is posted on public servers and websites. In many cases the data is hosted on multiple servers in various formats, making it difficult to find and integrate data from these sources for analysis and decision-making. Additionally, the FHWA’s large data- sets require users to have substantial network, storage and computing capabili- ties of their own in order to work with the data. FHWA wants to reduce the bulky government framework in order to make its information more readily available for integration into business applications. Besides surveying industry for a suit- able cloud hosting solution, FHWA is interested in the feasibility of collaborating with companies using no-cost agree- ments to make FHWA’s data more publicly accessible and usable. The idea calls for companies seeking to partner with FHWA to be responsible for funding the data shift to the cloud and costs related to their own technology infrastructure. The FHWA data moved to the cloud is expected to remain free to the public in its original, unaltered form. And though the agency wants to move its data to the cloud, it would still retain and maintain a “reference copy” of data provided to industry partners. In return, the hosting partner can estab- lish and perhaps charge for new value- added services and products. Proposals are due by March 26. • FHWA seeks no-cost cloud for transportation data BY GCN STAFF BY MARK POMERLEAU The move creates a portal for Ersi’s ArcGIS geographic information system that will provide a single, secure environment via the cloud. 0315gcn_006-015.indd 12 3/5/15 12:41 PM