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FGDC Homeland Security Working Group 2007 Work Plan

Agency Name:  Department of Homeland Security

Lead or Co-Lead:  Michael Lee

Subcommittee or Working Group:
Homeland Security Working Group

Background:  The FGDC Homeland Security Working Group (HSWG) serves as the focal point for identification of geospatial metadata, information content, symbology, interface and other specifications, guidelines, and standards required to ensure that geospatial information technologies support the achievement of these strategic goals of homeland security:

  • Awareness -- Identify and understand threats, assess vulnerabilities, determine potential impacts and disseminate timely information to our homeland security partners and the American public.
  • Prevention -- Detect, deter and mitigate threats to our homeland.
  • Protection -- Safeguard our people and their freedoms, critical infrastructure, property and the economy of our Nation from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
  • Response -- Lead, manage and coordinate the national response to acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
  • Recovery -- Lead national, state, tribal, local and private sector efforts to restore services and rebuild communities after acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies
  • Service -- Serve the public effectively by facilitating lawful trade, travel and immigration.

2007 FGDC HSWG Work Plan

Most activities of the FGDC HSWG are accomplished through sub-groups.  The following is a summary compiled from the work plans of each of the sub-groups.  More detail can be found in the HSWG website sub-group links.

Data Sharing Sub-Group


  1. Develop recommendations, mechanisms, and procedures to enhance the timely, efficient, and adequate sharing of geospatial data among Federal, tribal, state and local emergency management, homeland security, and homeland defense organizations wherever and whenever there is a demonstrable need.
  2. Develop standardized data sharing agreement templates for use by all levels of government that will facilitate and advance sharing of geospatial data by Federal, state and local emergency management, homeland security, and homeland defense organizations within the United States.

Scope of Work:  

  • Discover and assess barriers to timely and adequate data sharing among Federal agencies and between Federal, tribal, state, and local agencies.
  • Identify effective means of mitigating or removing barriers to timely and adequate intra- and inter-governmental data sharing.
  • Clarify concerns related to licensing, copyright, security and access to public and non-public geospatial data
  • Provide criteria for effective data sharing solutions as they relate to licensing
  • Identify ways that organizations can balance security and licensing concerns and still provide for wide information access by agencies with a “need to know”

Points of Contact:  

Data Sharing Sub-Group Chair:  William S. Burgess, National States Geographic Information Council (410) 544-2005, .

Emergency Response Symbology Sub-Group


There are no current year objectives for the Sub-Group.  

At this time, the work of the Emergency Response Symbology Sub-Group is suspended awaiting developments in the work associated with the DHS Geospatial Data Model (see the FGDC HSWG Content Subgroup for more information).  ERSSG work to expand the point symbol set found in the Emergency and Hazard Management Mapping Standard - Point Symbology Standard, and/or to modify symbols currently found in the standard, will be influenced by the content requirements of the data model.

Points of Contact:  

Emergency Response Symbology Sub-Group Chair:  Scott McAfee, DHS/FEMA, (202) 646-3317

Content Sub-Group

Background & Objectives:  

The Homeland Security Working Group (HSWG) Content Subgroup is established under the auspices of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to serve as the focal point for information content required to ensure that geospatial information technologies support the strategic goals of homeland security (HLS). Having reviewed several potential data content schemas such as the FGDC Framework and Homeland Security Infrastructure Program, an effort to create a logical model containing the most relevant data themes from the various sources was begun in April 2006. This effort is funded by the Department of Homeland Security Geospatial Management Office (DHS GMO). An initial model was published in late May 2006 for review and comment by stakeholders. The logical model will undergo several iterations as the model is refined through feedback and testing the process of data acquisition from selected state and federal GIS data centers into various physical data models derived from the logical model. The end goal is population of the DHS data warehouse geospatial data domain and creation of the core geospatial definitions which will in turn be embedded into the schemas of other data warehouse domains as defined in the DHS National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), resulting in a consistent definition and application of geospatial data standards for multifaceted federal and first responder data exchanges.

Scope of Work:  

The HSWG will identify geospatial information technologies, resources, standards and data applicable to homeland security. By default, the Content Subgroup is inherently responsible to maintain scope and procedures aligned but not redundant with the auspices and scope of the overall HSWG and partner subgroups. The Content Subgroup will apply subject matter expertise of the Content Subgroup members, or solicit outside subject matter expertise where relevant, to review and analyze information content of data models, transformation schemas, and exchange protocols or procedures. The scope of the Content Subgroup encompasses the investigation and review of any information resource that is geospatial in nature and involves HLS stakeholder use and implementation of geospatial models or standards related to information content. The resulting data model is envisioned to be inserted into the geospatial domain of the NIEM as a core component.

Points of Contact:

Content Sub-Group Chair:  Robert Phillips, DHS/USCG, (216) 902-6211

US National Grid Sub-Group


Implementation of the USNG standard to improve homeland security operations, consequence management, and improve commerce.

Scope of Work:  

Implementation efforts will be across a wide range of areas and organizations.  These include implementation in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) that is notably lacking in specifics on geospatial information and services to include the FGDC’s USNG standard among other standards.  The need of first responders that the USNG answers for a common grid reference system has been documented in Congressional testimony and reports, and reports co-produced by the Department of Homeland Security.  Based on the outcome of the spring 2006 DHS Hurricane Preparedness meeting at USGS and the DHS Geospatial Management Officer’s (GMO) guidance there, FGDC will sponsor the USNG through the process to become an ANSI standard.  To this end, an informal determination at FGDC was made that the USNG meets the requirements to follow the accelerated ANSI process.  Other areas of focus will continue to be: 1) Implementation in commercial Geographic Information System (GIS) software and other map production capabilities.  2) Education of policy makers at all levels and training first responders as well as policy decisions by organizations to adopt and implement the national grid.  3) Implementation of the USNG in various geospatial products such as maps (digital and hardcopy), map indexes, and other uses in databases.

Points of Contact:

USNG Sub-Group Co-chairs:  Tom Terry, HQMC-IPI, (703) 695-3118;  Ed Freeborn, DOJ/NLECTC-NE, (315) 339-6184

Last Updated: Nov 07, 2006 01:21 PM
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