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Subject: Re: [emergency-comment] USNG-NAD83 - Implementing a Common Operational PictureforEM/ES Through Location Interoperability

Was going back through the various comments we have received to date,  
and came across this one again. In much the same perspective as Art  
relayed in the earlier parts of this thread, I am not finding any  
"problems" or "suggestions" in this email thread as it would pertain to  
issues with CAP. Seems more like a reflection and recount of  
experience, but like Art, I am not a GIS expert either, so perhaps  
there is something lying between the lines that I too am missing.

Unless someone else can absorb, digest, and interpret this, it appears  
there is nothing else to comment on here.

Please let me know if otherwise - Allen

On Mar 8, 2004, at 4:17 PM, Art Botterell wrote:

> Mark, I'm forwarding your note herewith to the OASIS Emergency  
> Management Technical Committee's public comments list, and also to the  
> GIS subcommittee since I expect your suggestion will wind up there  
> anyway.
> Thanks!
> - Art
> From: "Whitney, Mark" <Mark.Whitney@dhs.gov>
> To: "'Art Botterell'" <acb@incident.com>,
>    "'rexb@starbourne.com'" <rexb@starbourne.com>
> Cc: Eliot_Christian <echristi@usgs.gov>,
>    "'Jules McNeff'" <jmcneff@overlooksys.com>,
>    "'Richard Hogan (E-mail)'" <rlhogan@usgs.gov>,
>    "'Terry Mr Neri G'" <TerryNG@hqmc.usmc.mil>
> Subject: RE: USNG-NAD83 -  Implementing a Common Operational  
> PictureforEM/ES Through Location Interoperability
> Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 15:12:05 -0500
> Status:
> Dear Art,
> I certainly understand the confusion as we are in a bit of an  
> uncomfortable
> time of a transition and different agencies/entities will all have  
> their
> two-cents worth and internal differences. Given USNG is a Federal  
> standard
> and the recent memo from the Associate Director for Geography, USGS, I
> believe you can safely assume their position on basically replacing all
> lat/long references in the CAP spec with "USNG-NAD83/WGS84" (older  
> GPSs use
> MGRS-NAD83/84). I have copied Richard Hogan at USGS and Tom Terry at  
> Marines
> for your reference.
> While I was at FEMA-HQ I initiated some very substantial and early  
> funding
> for OpenGIS but can't speak now for what they are attempting to do. I  
> would
> say however that theirs is mostly a digital world of protocols,  
> hand-shakes,
> header-files, translation/transformations on the fly... all fine and
> dandy..., but, especially for very large disasters this will simply not
> suffice: preparation/training/plans/voice commo/when the power is out  
> and
> only piles of debris for hundreds of square miles... it will always be  
> a
> digital/paper/voice enterprise that operates mostly in large scale  
> mapping
> environments (no lat/long on most city street level maps).
> ESRI? Well I'm not sure what to tell you here except that if they had  
> come
> down to Miami to implement GIS for Andrew (instead of DMS who did a
> wonderful job) the way they did for WTC, they would sure as heck be  
> telling
> their customers with a certain sense of urgency to take advantage of  
> their
> new Military Analyst tool, which ESRI kindly developed with one single
> request following 9/11, and shift their reference system and datum  
> over to
> USNG (reference system being key but both important). Even with WTC,  
> and
> ESRI did a marvelous job from what I can tell (as we did in Andrew only
> two/three weeks too late), still there were several grid systems in  
> use by
> different WTC responders including the one used with hand-held GPS to  
> mark
> locations where bodies/evidence were recovered: a proprietary grid  
> reference
> system, which speaks for itself in terms of a National and easy to use
> public domain solution for a reference standard for all Emergency
> Management/Emergency Services/and disaster uses-users.
> (PS, NYC has a separate reference system in use by each of it's  
> boroughs +
> the WTC had their own unique reference system for that site. This is  
> common,
> Salt Lake City fire and police are (were?) each using a different  
> reference
> system.)
> We here at USFA, and I certainly don't speak for USFA, have the task of
> bringing along the Nation's fire service (and EM?), a daunting task  
> for the
> fire service alone since the vast majority of the 30,000 departments,  
> like
> NYC and SLC, use their own unique and local reference system which most
> often will not work easily with GPS (see second paragraph USFA
> Interoperability Advisory a quote from US Fire Service Needs Assessment
> (USFA/NFPA Dec. 2002)). Only 1.6% use lat/long (3 versions x 1.6% = 5%
> total) though thankfully at least 1% already use MGRS. We are working  
> with
> DOD on a proposal to pilot one FD each service between now and Jan '05  
> when
> NFIRS changes over since they use NFIRS currently and their  
> implementation
> plans/experiences can then can be shared with civ side o' the house.
> Hopefully not too much of a worry based upon the experience of the  
> State of
> Nevada's Chief Cartographer as they implemented at the State and local  
> level
> (attached).
> Very good to hear you witnessed Andrew in person since it probably  
> changed
> you like everyone there. Can you imagine the challenges we have out  
> front
> given the state of "mapping" preparedness we currently have at hand?  
> Andrew
> was 2 Divisions +, I can easily imagine different human and natural  
> caused
> incidents that "will" require many more. At least one in three  
> responders
> will require a large-format paper map day one (not to even mention the
> public's need for spatial information/maps if required to evac in a  
> hurry),
> with the same reference system, for just the basics of getting around  
> not to
> mention the more fancy fang-dangled "GIS" products back at the DFO  
> used for
> analysis that we spend so much time and attention on....  Until we get
> everyone rigged with the same or seamlessly interoperable digital units
> backed by standardized data content (all using the same reference  
> system),
> if that ever happens (I doubt it), even then the demand for paper maps  
> will
> still be great due to their own advantages in addition to other  
> requirements
> for voice commo to simply describe location (with a given there will  
> often
> not be street signs), paper plans....
> I truly can understand how at this juncture finding out about this  
> standard
> could be a bit more than frustrating. In my humble opinion, we at FEMA  
> are
> in a large way at fault for that deficiency due in large part to  
> internal
> issues. In the big scheme though, it is actually early in the game and  
> I'm
> glad I came across your emails.
> With very best regards,
> Mark A. Whitney
> Fire Programs Specialist
> National Fire Data Center
> United States Fire Administration
> Federal Emergency Management Agency
> Department of Homeland Security
> 16825 S. Seton Ave.
> Emmitsburg, MD 21727
> (301) 447-1836
> USNG: 18SUJ00539638
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Art Botterell [mailto:acb@incident.com]
> Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 1:41 PM
> To: Whitney, Mark; 'rexb@starbourne.com'
> Cc: Eliot_Christian; 'Jules McNeff'
> Subject: RE: USNG-NAD83 - Implementing a Common Operational
> PictureforEM/ES Through Location Interoperability
> Mark -
> I'll confess I'm having a little difficulty extracting precisely what
> you're suggesting.  The current CAP specification was designed with
> input from USGS, the Open GIS Consortiuma and ESRI.  GIS isn't my
> specialty, so could I ask you to spell out precisely what you'd like
> to see changed so the Technical Committee can consider it at the
> appropriate time?
> A number of us were involved in Andrew and other responses so we
> don't need persuasion, just a clear direction.
> - Art
> At 11:29 AM -0500 3/8/04, Whitney, Mark wrote:
>> Thanks for the reference which I had not seen (I found a lat/long  
>> reference
>> this morning on a Partnership for Public Warning  site). This in fact  
>> would
>> be marvelous news if USNG/MGRS-WGS84 (UTM)! Apart from being
>> non-interoperable with military response resources, the bulk of folks  
>> on
> the
>> disaster ground large events such as Andrew, Latitude and longitude  
>> are not
>> well suited for mapping at large scales and can be very  
>> difficult/confusing
>> to use, especially given you'd have to get everyone to use just one  
>> version
>> enterprise-wide and on a disaster ops such as the Columbia debris  
>> recovery,
>> that can take several weeks to partially implement among all  
>> responders
>> involved. When there are life/safety considerations, massive  
>> evacuation,
>> large eq/hurricane, we need to all be much better practiced and  
>> prepared
>> well in advance if we are to serve the public as expected, or closer  
>> to it
>> in any case than we otherwise would. While the DFO had a handful of
>> large-format UTM gridded maps beginning about week 1.5, until they  
>> were
>> blue-lined and several thousand copies of these gridded maps were  
>> taken out
>> to the Army troops working on the ground in Andrew (week 2.5-3), they  
>> (two
>> divisions +) used maps torn from phone books and other "tourist" map
>> products. They were very dissatisfied and for very good reasons. The  
>> U.S.
>> Military in its 1993 "capstone doctrine" for domestic support  
>> operations
> (FM
>> 100-19) using lessons learned from Andrew termed the need for  
>> establishing
> a
>> common frame of spatial reference among both military and civilian  
>> entities
>> as "critical."
>> PS. Where two years ago there were no easy to use tools on several of  
>> the
>> more popular GISs or websites used by communities and consumers, that  
>> has
>> changed with ESRIs Military Analyst plug-in and a DeLorme's XMap  
>> along with
>> USGS's National Map and FEMA's HazardMaps.gov with more to come (note  
>> the
>> different versions of lat/long on those two sites), and a very nice
> National
>> Guard site.
>> It certainly is a paradigm shift from what many have known, but it  
>> truly is
>> a standard required nationwide.
>> Please let me know if I can provide further information and/or  
>> contacts at
>> USGS, National Geodetic Survey (tools for converting existing data  
>> tables),
>> Marines (chem/bio response force).
>> With very best regards,
>> Mark A. Whitney
>> Fire Programs Specialist
>> National Fire Data Center
>> United States Fire Administration
>> Federal Emergency Management Agency
>> Department of Homeland Security
>> 16825 S. Seton Ave.
>> Emmitsburg, MD 21727
>> (301) 447-1836
>> USNG: 18SUJ00539638
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Art Botterell [mailto:acb@incident.com]
>> Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 10:39 AM
>> To: Whitney, Mark; 'rexb@starbourne.com'
>> Cc: Eliot_Christian
>> Subject: Re: USNG-NAD83 - Implementing a Common Operational Picture
>> forEM/ES Through Location Interoperability
>> Mark -
>> Thanks very much for your note... although I'll admit I was under the
>> impression we'd effectively done that.  I refer to the WGS-84 note on
>> page 18 of the current spec document, as referenced from the
>> individual items in the data dictionary.  Is there some ambiguity
>> there that we've overlooked?
>> If it's just an editorial change you're suggesting, we can certainly
>> take that back to the Technical Committee.  Otherwise, could you
>> please say a little more about the difference between the current
>> spec and what you'd like to see?  We're fully intent on supporting
>> your direction.
>> Thanks!
>> - Art
>> At 10:08 AM -0500 3/8/04, Whitney, Mark wrote:
>>> Gentlemen,
>>> I'm taking a break and sending you this email as a "private person."  
>>> My
>>> views and/or opinions do not necessarily represent those of my parent
>> agency
>>> though they too are referenced at the bottom of this message.
>>> This morning I've learned of your OASIS organization and wanted to  
>>> pass
>>> along information re. subject standard so that if your EM  
>>> Notification
>>> Methods and Messages Subcommittee has not finalized it's "rigorous
>> technical
>>> and operational review and refinement of the design" for the CAP  
>>> message
>>> standard and/or other OASIS standards referencing "location," you can
>>> consider the needs of the entire EM/ES enterprise/lifecycle learned  
>>> on the
>>> "front lines" in disasters such as Hurricane Andrew and others more
> recent.
>>> Even if your review of CAP has been completed, I would recommend  
>>> taking
>>> another look and replacing any current reference to lat/long  
>>> (version?
>>> datum?) in the CAP with "United States National Grid - North American
> Datum
>>> 1983 (USNG-NAD83)". Of course, this reference system has world-wide
>>> applications as Military Grid Reference System - World Geodetic  
>>> System
> 1984
>>> (MGRS-WGS84) which could also be called the Universal Grid Reference
> System
>>> (UGRS-WGS84). This would, as you might imagine, provide for a much
> smoother
>>> integration of world disaster response resources, already with maps  
>>> that
>>> agree with their GPS, trained and practiced plans and commo  
>>> protocols,
> into
>>> areas impacted by the more catastrophic flavors of disasters,
>>> India/Turkey/Iran/Taiwan EQs, New Orleans category 5 = 40,000-100,000
>>> fatalities and one huge multi-military Division SAR/relief op...
> especially
>>> when those relief resources are from any of the military services in  
>>> NATO
>>> (very often the case) where MGRS was adopted following the lessons  
>>> learned
>>> by our "greatest generation" WWII. PS> From what I'm seeing in  
>>> Afganastan,
>>> Iraq..., that same greatest generation name most certainly applies  
>>> to our
>>> military forces of today who are surrounded with geospatial  
>>> technologies,
>>> all using the same reference system/datum, so that they can see and
>>> communicate "blue on blue...." paper/digital/voice, a Common  
>>> Operational
>>> Picture lesson/solution learned from DOD of which we should quickly
>> partake.
>>> Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt in his Feb. 2002 USNG White Paper
>> termed
>>> the Dec. 2001 FGDC Standard as a "must have" in addition to  
>>> re-stateing
> the
>>> official FEMA position on the standard submitted to the FGDC almost  
>>> three
>>> years ago
>>> (http://www.comcare.org/research/topics/ 
>>> JamesLeeWittArticleUSNG.html).
>>> I have also included a recent memo from USGS's Barbara J. Ryan,  
>>> Associate
>>> Director for Geography, for your information and a link to a quote  
>>> in the
>>> Nov, 2003 FEMA-USFA Newsletter with a very explicit statement  
>>> ("required
>>> nationwide":
>>> http://www.usfa.fema.gov/inside-usfa/newsletter/2003/ 
>>> news110103.shtm#g)
> re.
>>> USNG included in it's release to the public of the availability to a  
>>> new
>> GIS
>>> Intro/Tutorial already sent out to thousands of fire departments.  
>>> Also,
>> here
>>> is a URL to a nice defenition on www.HazardMaps.gov which has  
>>> incorporated
>>> some initial support for USNG: http://www.hazardmaps.gov/guide/usng.
>>> Also be aware that the National Fire Incident Reporting System  
>>> (NFIRS)
> will
>>> be adding USNG as the "Geoaddress" in the basic reporting module and
>> replace
>>> lat/long in the wildland module in Jan. '05. We have also  
>>> incorporated
>>> information and training materials in some of our key courses here  
>>> at the
>>> National Emergency Training Center (NETC), EMI and the Fire Academy:
>>> Intergrated Emergency Management Course, Community Master Planning,  
>>> Program Management....
>>> Here's to hoping we can have all oars pulling the same direction  
>>> someday.
>>> There are still many pieces to come together but the overall  
>>> direction is
>>> clear and getting OASIS/CAP to consider USNG would add much in  
>>> taking "one
>>> of the three most important immediate steps that the Government  
>>> could take
>>   >to improve homeland security." (John Marburger, President Bush's  
>> Science
>>> Advisor and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology  
>>> Policy.)
>>> Thanks very much for any assistance,
>>>    <<Interoperability Advisory  USNG-NAD83.doc>>
>>> <<NCRImplementation_V5a.doc>>  <<USGSmemo.national.grid030923.pdf>>
>>> <<USNG_HowtoRead_Vprri1.PDF>>
>>> Mark A. Whitney
>>> Fire Programs Specialist
>>> National Fire Data Center
>>> United States Fire Administration
>>> Federal Emergency Management Agency
>>> Department of Homeland Security
>>> 16825 S. Seton Ave.
>>> Emmitsburg, MD 21727
>>> (301) 447-1836
>>> USNG: 18SUJ00539638
>>> "...the FEMA program offices anticipate that the use of this system  
>>> (USNG)
>>> for identifying locations among emergency management personnel and
> agencies
>>> will help save lives, reduce the costs of disaster, and enhance
>>> preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts.  
>>> Particularly
>>> valuable is its compatibility with the system used by the National  
>>> Guard
>> and
>>> others, the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS)...."
>>> FEMA letter to Federal Geographic Data Committee 06/2001
>>> Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:Interoperability Advi#9176F.doc
>>> (WDBN/MSWD) (0009176F)
>>> Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:NCRImplementation_V5a.doc
>>> (WDBN/MSWD) (00091770)
>>> Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:USGSmemo.national.gri#91771.pdf
>>> (PDF /CARO) (00091771)
>>> Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:USNG_HowtoRead_Vprri1.PDF (PDF
>>> /CARO) (00091772)
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