Thursday, September 29, 2011

NGA Release: Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) Video

Here's the pitch from NGA:

"HSIP: Putting the Power of Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) in the User’s Hands.
As an official HIFLD Member, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), in partnership with other Federal agencies, has produced a Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) video and it’s now available on the HIFLD Working Group portal,, and on YouTube,"
Comment: This video is worth watching for two reasons:
  • It helps provide understanding about the HSIP program. 
  • It highlights the significant progress that has been made toward building a common geospatial understanding of the U.S. since 9/11 (from nothing - to a functional product)
Beyond that, be careful.  Contrary to what the video would have you believe, not everything is peachy-keen in HSIP land.  The federal government can’t be everywhere, so in many ways the quality of data in the HSIP product suite (Gold and Freedom) is totally dependent upon the timeliness and fidelity of data that State and Local governments are willing to provide - an issue with many pitfalls.  Additionally, despite authorization that was granted earlier this year to state National Guard headquarters to unlock and routinely use HSIP Gold, HSIP Gold remains essentially a Federal product.  Consequently, very few State or Local units of governments have “pre-event” access to HSIP Gold data, and without that, unlocking, loading and incorporating that data into products for responders flying out the door is problematic at best.   Finally, access to highly accurate geospatial data in an era of increasingly tightly interwoven infrastructure is absolutely critical to emergency preparedness and response – a point that the video seems to indicate is well under control through the HSIP process.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  To get there – it’s going to take geospatial data “collaboration” and not just geospatial data “collection”.   

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