Monday, August 8, 2011

DHS IP Releases Infrastructure Taxonomy Version 4

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) has just announced release of Version 4 of its Infrastructure Taxonomy.  Read more.

Comment: Since its creation, DHS has struggled to align the various agencies it inherited and resulting divisions that were created when it came into existence following 911.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the various geospatial ("visualization") programs that populate the Department, with taxonomy being a perfect case in point.  While most parts of DHS break down geospatial information about infrastructure into 20+  basic categories (HSIP with slight variations by system) that were agreed to by the federal geospatial community - such as Agriculture, Energy, and Food Services, the Infrastructure Information Collection Division (IICD) has been using the approach outlined in the Infrastructure Taxonomy, an approach that owes its origins to standard industrial classifications.  Consequently, there are two very different approaches for visualizing infrastructure as promoted by the same federal Department.  However, as noted in the bulletin, look for IICD to transition away from the Infrastructure Taxonomy (industrial classifications) and toward the geospatial catalog approach in the next couple of years.  This will be done not only for intra-department standardization purposes, but because the Infrastructure Taxonomy approach simply doesn't provide the focused granularity that is required to keep up with DHS’s evolving geospatial capabilities.      

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