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Subject: Long Term Liaisons

Title: Long Term Liaisons
Greetings GeoVRMLers, PlanetEarthers,

I am posting this message to both of these mailing lists, whle copying the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee (EMTC) and the OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee for two specific purposes.

1. Inform you about the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee's work, which includes the use of general Geospatial information including OpenGIS-related datastandards


The working draft of the requirements document for the work of this committee lists these standards and introduces other established and developing standards


Of particular interest at this time is the Common Alerting Protocol which addresses immediate, mostly American, needs. However, it can be expanded and extended.


Reciprocally, I am also introducing these two groups to the EMTC, and the HumanMarkup TC, although I have mentioned them to the HumanML folks on several occasions.

Planet Earth:      http://www.planet-earth.org/
                    website geospace placeholder

                     Australian-based, Telstra-funded, open source 3map (ISO Standard
                        X3D/VRML) working software project

GeoVRML:        http://www.ai.sri.com/geovrml/
                  SRI Artificial Intelligence Center's maintenance site for the
                   GeoVRML 1.1 specification, part of Amendment 1 to the VRML97
                    ISO standard and the GeoVRML Working Group of the
                       Web 3D Consortium

To make a long story short, I think all four of these groups can benefit in the long term from building some liaisons now, and I fill that particular bill because I subscribe to these four mailing lists as a member or interested potential member.

2. To propose a specific long term liaison project involving all four of these somewhat disparate groups, and others which will eventually be recruited when the timing is correct and necessary.

A working name for this project could be "Global Emergency Alert, Response and Human Aid Delivery Assistance."

The Emergency Management TC, to which I belong, numbers among its members folks employed at USGS, ESRI, and other consultanting services. It also numbers among its members, at least one who is also a member of the OASIS E-Gov TC, which somewhat ensures that governmental issues are included or at least communicated. There are other governmental ties as well.

At this point in time, mid-2003, the EMTC is aimed at establishing point-radius and polygon grided geographical/geospatial area alerts based on WGS 84, NAD 83,  adhering to FIPS, (and NIMA, FEMA and NOAA where and as applicable) standards with a suggested 3D component for above mean sea-level air space volumetric area mapping.

One suggestion that I would like to make and see implemented is a collaboration between GeoVRML and Planet-Earth would be a system of automatic conversions for all geospatial measurement and projection systems from any other system, and from a standard point-radius location if/when that is adopted by the EMTC or other global standards body. Then supply a standard X3D/VRML representation at the most appropriate level of detail for the indicated terrain and airspace. Supplying such a service would seem like a natural implementation of these interests, and it would allow anyone on the planet with a web connection to get information in the systems for which they are suited, prepared or accustomed, using global localization for languages and, eventually, as I will mention later, cultures. They would also received a 3D visualization of the area that could be recognized and related to by means of known landmark locations.

Beyond introducing truly global considerations into the discussions of emergency management and intergovernmental considerations, one of the interests of the Human Markup Language initiative is to pull together the existing standards for the accurate description and representation of the human body, and human ancestral remains and artifacts into a single integrated system that includes the domains of medicine and anatomy.

I happen to be the chair of the OASIS Human Physical Characteristics Description Markup Language Subcommittee, which has recently had its charter approved by the OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee to undertake this task, and that is the proximate reason for this message.

While I think the connection between the work of this subcommittee and the work of the Emergency Management Technical Committee and the Geospatial groups I am addressing should be clear, I have discovered that it is not as clear to others as it is to me, so I will be explicit.

With a unified descriptive vocabulary that is anatomically and medically accurate, and that can be tied into Health Care Standards and Legislation such as the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the USA, an individual's vital statistics and medical history can be available in emergencies to augment the correct delivery of individual care. 3D-capable imaging systems can be can built into EMT equipment and even remote diagnosis will be possible, not to mention avoiding bad drug interactions, allergic responses to antibiotics, etc.

A second reason that HumanMarkup needs to be included in this effort is that when these Emergency Management efforts expand to include the entire planet, we must  have a system that allows for both language translation and cultural translation. I won't belabor this because it is much too complex an issue for this discussion, but this, perhaps more than most other work of the HumanMarkup TC, is a key to ensuring that appropriate aid is delivered when and where needed and inadvertent cross-cultural offenses are avoided.

I realize, I'm quite far ahead of myself in addressing these issues now, but I really think now is the best time to do this and provide that such human issues are addressed, before we empower the inevitable agencies and bureaucracies that must arise to deliver such services. If we ensure sensible allowance for human cultural concerns, we will save ourselves time and frustration, if not tragedy, later.

The other longer term interest herein is the ability to model and dynamically update geographic data in accurate 3D models of terrain and transportation conditions in emergency situations. Flooded rivers, washed out bridges, mudslides blocking roads, wind shifts in wildfire situations, secondary structure collapses due to aftershocks in earthquake situations, and more can be adapted to in ways that will save lives and money. Such considerations also apply to terrorism-related emergency situations.

These last two issues, Culturally-Aware 3D Health Care Delivery and 3D Geographical Updating  are much longer term than the other concerns I have stated, but standards exist or can be developed and technologies such as GPS exist now. So, adaptations are feasible as the information evironment expands and progresses that will allow for such dynamic, cost-efficient, more rapid and accurate alerting and response delivery systems that meet human needs worldwide.

I welcome comments and suggestions about how to go about beginning this work.

Rex Brooks

Rex Brooks
President, Stabourne Communications Design
Executive Director, Humanmarkup.org, Inc.
Vice Chair, Secretary, OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee
Chair OASIS Human Physical Characteristics Description Markup Language Subcommittee
Member Web Services for Interactive Applications Technical Committee
Chair Web Services for Remote Portal Markup Subcommittee
Member OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA, 94702 USA, Earth
W3Address: http://www.starbourne.com
Email: rexb@starbourne.com
Tel: 510-849-2309
Fax: By Request

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