Department of Homeland Security Geospatial Data Model

Version 2.7 now available.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Geospatial Management Office (GMO) developed the DHS geospatial data model (GDM) to support geospatial interoperability and information sharing. Geospatial operations at the DHS will be based on the model, as will data exchanges with allies in the homeland security and disaster management community.  The development of the model began in 2005 by the GMO to provide an open, standards-based model for use by the homeland security community.  The initial design, and subsequent revisions, have incorporated existing, openly-accessible Federal and industry standards and practices.  Version 2.7 now incorporates the fire/hazmat data model developed in partnership with the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, a member organization of both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association Fire Chiefs (IAFC).  In addition, the GDM has been updated with the latest version of HSIP Gold (Version 2008) as well as the Infrastructure Taxonomy (Version 3.0).  

The GDM is a comprehensive framework for organizing features of interest to the homeland security community. The essential purpose of the GDM is to provide a means for sharing of geospatial information sharing between organizations and agencies whose primary responsibility it is to plan for, and respond to natural disasters and hostile events. Implementation (or physical) models based on this logical construct will be used by various mission owners within DHS and its allies across the homeland security community as they discover, collect, store, and share geospatial data. A key outcome of the GDM is a common operating picture that is shared between organizations responding to events of national significance. 

The GDM is continually growing and improving to better suit the Homeland Security community.  Feedback from the field is incorporated into each subsequent release and “tools” are being developed to help users implement the DHS GDM.  The model will also form the core standard for the Department’s emerging services-based geospatial infrastructure, and will serve as an extract, transform, and load (ETL) template for content aggregation.  The model is constructed as a Unified Modeling Language (UML) class diagram, and is available in a number of formats for download and review. 


As in previous versions, the FGDC Homeland Security Working Group and the GMO are extremely interested in soliciting user feedback about the models and ways to make it more accessible by all users.  Please download the DHS Geospatial Data Model Comment Resolution Matrix VERSION 2.7 [Excel] and add your comments. Forward your completed matrices as an email to  Comments will be adjudicated through the FGDC Homeland Security Working Group-Content Subgroup, and the results reposted to this website.

Previous Versions

Development of the GDM, was subdivided into three major phases. Version 1.1, created in the first phase brought together components from existing models and aligned them to ensure that they were all in a consistent modeling notation and style and were ready for the next phase. During Phase II, the “content” phase, the model components were internally and externally harmonized with the user community. The Phase I model elements that do not survive the harmonization, or that change drastically during Phase II, were retained as “legacy adapters” in the resultant version 1.2 and deprecated in version 2.0 or future releases.

For links to further information on previous models, downloads and user feedback, click on one of the following links:

Schema Generation Tool New Item Image

The DHS Geospatial Management Office has deployed an online schema generation tool to extract custom views of the GDM. ESRI users can now export custom ArcXML schemas and use ArcCatalog to produce GIS-ready geodatabases.