8 March 2016: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has announced the recent successful completion of the OGC Incident Management Information Sharing Internet of Things Pilot Project (IMIS IoT Pilot). The IMIS IoT Pilot was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the IJIS Institute. The project was launched last April[?] to demonstrate open system sensor integration for emergency and disaster response.

IMIS IoT Pilot Demonstration Figure

Figure: The OGC IMIS IoT Pilot demonstrated how information from diverse mobile, wearable and in situ sensors can be integrated in an ad hoc fashion through products' implementations of currently available open interface and encoding standards.

Rapid integration of information from diverse information sources such as IoT sensors plays a key role in responding to emergencies and disasters. The number of these sources grows rapidly with the growing number of cell phones and other mobile devices and also with the growing number of different types of IoT sensors that are included in those devices, or that are attached to other kinds of equipment or mounted at fixed locations. Cameras and health and environment sensors on IoT devices mounted on or in equipment worn or carried by first responders and on their vehicles, including UAVs, have particular value in emergency and disaster scenarios. Data from a sensor has little or no value without context information. For example: A videocam shows a firefighter approaching a burning vehicle. Who is that firefighter? What assets and risks are nearby? Context information requires IoT data integration.

The value of all these information sources depends on the ability of incident responders' applications to detect their existence, know their state, locations, descriptions, software interfaces and access rules, and to integrate the information coming from the sources. The IMIS IoT Pilot demonstrated how all of this is possible today. The pilot was designed to apply, test and demonstrate, in real world applications, Standards Based Commercial Off-The-Shelf (SCOTS) products that already implement or will soon implement existing OGC standards and related open standards from other standards organizations.

A real-world scenario for the Pilot was created in collaboration with first responders. The scenario depicts an incident in which fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical units must deploy, discover and integrate diverse sensors and platforms to gain situational awareness. Use cases in the scenario reveal specific interoperability requirements.

The IMIS IoT Pilot produced initial specifications, profiles, best practices and demonstration designs for connecting sensors and response information systems in an ad hoc fashion for management of such incidents. The results are being documented in these OGC Engineering Reports:

  • IMIS IoT Architecture Engineering Report: Describes the overall architecture of the systems developed and deployed during the IoT Pilot, analyzes lessons learned, and summarizes overall technical results of the project.
  • Recommendations for Protocol Mapping IoT Devices to SWE Engineering Report: Describes details of solutions for mapping and routing IoT protocols to Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) interfaces and payloads developed and tested during the Pilot. Recommends practices for design of sensor hub (S-Hub) components that provide a SWE-compatible Internet presence for locally connected IoT devices.
  • IMIS Profile Recommendations for OGC Web Services Engineering Report: Provides recommendations for changes to, or profiles of, existing standards as well as other recommended practices and/or application schemas developed or realized during the Pilot.

The sponsors and the OGC thank the technology providers that participated in the IMIS IoT Pilot and produced the reports. These include:

  • 52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH, Münster, Germany
  • Botts Innovative Research, Huntsville, Alabama, United States
  • Compusult Limited, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Envitia Limited, Horsham, West Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Exemplar City / GeoHuntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, United States
  • Noblis, Falls Church, Virginia, United States
  • Northrop Grumman, Falls Church, Virginia, United States
  • SensorUp, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • University of Melbourne – Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS), Melbourne, Australia

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 515 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled.