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Subject: [OASIS Issue Tracker] (EMERGENCY-29) Single text field that summarizes multiple area descriptions

    [ https://issues.oasis-open.org/browse/EMERGENCY-29?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=43656#comment-43656 ] 

Norm Paulsen commented on EMERGENCY-29:

The reason why NWS, and Environment Canada for that matter, use multiple area blocks is because the areas we alert on are pre-defined. All our production software and all our products list a set of pre-defined areas (often at the county level) because when those operational applications and products were originally built years ago, this was how it was done. Clicking a bunch of pre-defined zones to indicate a threat area was quicker and cheaper than naming a threat zone each time based on what the threat encompassed. In Canada we would also have to translate that name as they all wouldn't be pre-defined. So when CAP came along, the current practice was mimiced there.

Both NWS and EC are interested in single area blocks per info block but the ability to do that is a paradign shift that requries either a) a change in operational software and procedures or b) a new function that merges all the pre-defined areas into one new area before putting into CAP. With budget limitations no senior manager wants to delve into a new sub project without considerable debate since what we have now seems to have worked fine for years (why the issue now?).

Nevertheless, the idea factors into my long term thinking (hoping to just slip it in there one day) but it won't happen fast. Side Note: We are working on merging many polygons into fewer or one.

So even if there is a new element or new guidelines for this idea, its something we wouldn't be able to take advantage of for a long time.

> Single text field that summarizes multiple area descriptions
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: EMERGENCY-29
>                 URL: https://issues.oasis-open.org/browse/EMERGENCY-29
>             Project: OASIS Emergency Management TC
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>            Reporter: Steve Hakusa
> Extracted from https://issues.oasis-open.org/browse/EMERGENCY-10 after a discussion in the CAP-SC meeting on August 20.
> In the case a CAP message has multiple <area> blocks, it would be quite useful to define a single field that succinctly summarized all of the areas. 
> For example, we frequently see alerts with a long list of <area> blocks that correspond to existing political boundaries (zip codes, counties, warning zones) rather than defining the alertable area in a single polygon.  In these cases, each <area> block has an <areaDesc> that describes that area.  There is no field, then that summarizes the long list of areas to a single string.
> As an example, NWS creates a severe winter storm alert with 5 <area> blocks, each with a geocode of a county in or around Atlanta.  I'm looking for a single, optional field like
> <areaDesc>Atlanta Metro Area</areaDesc>
> or
> <areaDesc>Northern Georgia</areaDesc>
> It may be argued that CAP already supports what I'm looking for, if only NWS in this case used a single <area> block instead of 5.
> Art Botterell comments on https://issues.oasis-open.org/browse/EMERGENCY-10: 
> """
> By the same token, if the multiple areas can be described by a single label, they probably should be a single Area. In other words, I'm thinking we should look to help originators make better use the existing <areaDesc> field before asking them to populate another, potentially redundant element. 
> And of course having redundancy or semantic overlap among fields is almost always a bad thing in the structured-data context because it raises the problem of what to do if the two values conflict.
> """
> If that is the argument, then this issue becomes roughly the same as issue 10: What if a CAP author wants/needs to provide multiple granularities of area description (name *both* the counties and the metro area) in a single CAP alert?

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