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GCN : May 2013
28 GCN MAY 2013 • GCN.COM Amajor disaster, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, typically draws help from a diverse array of international players, including emergency response crews, military units, non-governmental organizations, relief workers, physicians and a host of others who need an accu- rate view of the situation --- what infrastructure has been damaged and what's still working. But too often they work with different geospatial or mapping systems, impeding the sharing of information. In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, during which major landmarks were destroyed, emergency response workers even had to resort to cre- ating paper-based maps, experts said. A global consortium is working to solve that problem, creating a cloud infrastructure to demon- strate how a coalition of orga- nizations can share geospatial information as they respond to such disasters. The concept was proposed by the National Geospa- tial-Intelligence Agency, which will provide unclassified data that supports a scenario depicting the Haiti earthquake. NGA officials want to see how industry can deliver open stan- dards-based geospatial data to first responders via multiple, in- teroperable cloud infrastructures, said Todd Myers, NGA's lead glob- al compute architect. The Network Centric Opera- tions Industry Consortium has awarded $350,000 to a team led by technology services provider NJVC to complete the first cycle of the project, which involved devel- oping the cloud infrastructure. NCOIC conducted a series of successful lab interoperabil- ity demonstrations, also based on Haiti, four times during 2010, focusing on the commercial cloud as a data-transport vehicle, said Tip Slater, NCOIC director of business development. This time around, the demonstration will center on multiple clouds, ex- panding the population of users who can post eyewitness views of what's happening where they are, Slater noted. CLOUD BROKER CHOSEN NJVC's Cloudcuity Management Portal, a multi-cloud broker ser- vice for the federal government, provides the underlying cloud in- frastructure Cloudcuity lets agen- cies try, design and price an array of services from cloud provid- ers such as Amazon, Savvis and Terremark before committing to The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is leading a global e ort to set-up cloud technologies to troubleshoot disaster reponse. AGENCIES LOOK TO CLOUD TO MAP OUT DISASTER RESPONSE GEOSPATIAL CLOUD TECH ANALYSIS BY WILLIAM JACKSON Rescue convergence: The NGA is spearheading development of a cloud computing system to focus the mobilization of rescue teams and technologies on disaster hotspots around the world.