Wayland, MA, USA, November 20, 2002 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced that Phase 1 of its Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI-1) recently began with a successful kick-off meeting held in Reston, Virginia. CIPI aims to test the application of interoperable technology to meet critical infrastructure protection needs for coordination of geospatial data and services between national, state, provincial, and other local governments, commercial, and non-government organizations. One of the overarching goals is the development of a collaborative, distributed network of critical infrastructure information sources and services based on open standards and specifications.CIPI-1 represents the first of a series of pilot projects to help advance interoperability for critical infrastructure protection and other vital service needs. CIPI is also an opportunity for vendors, users, and other interested parties to mutually shape critically needed services, interfaces and protocols in the context of a hands-on engineering experience.CIPI-1 will focus on the border area between Detroit, Michigan, USA and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. This unique geography will allow participants to explore both vertical data sharing between national to local government agencies, and horizontal data sharing between collaborating jurisdictions in the region. CIPI-1 will emphasize the sharing of transportation data, and will examine response opportunities to hypothetical events in the border area between Canada and the United States.The area of Detroit/Windsor was selected for the pilot as a result of interest expressed by organizations who responded to OGC's Call For Communities (see http://ip.opengeospatial.org/cfc ), an ongoing effort that encourages public and private organizations at all levels to register their interest in participating in OGC initiatives. “We are thankful for the contributions of data, time and energy from the City of Windsor, the Province of Ontario, and the Centre for Topographic Information Sherbrooke (CTIS). We also appreciate the support of Wayne State University, City of Detroit Police Department, Wayne County, and Michigan Center for Geographic Information. Their leadership and involvement in CIPI-1, along with sponsors and participants, will be crucial to the success of this initiative,” stated Terry Idol, Director of CIPI-1 Initiative for the OGC. CIPI-1 will deliver servers built on OpenGIS® specifications to GeoConnections and the US Geological Survey (USGS). Additional interoperable capability is envisioned for implementation within organizations in the Detroit/Windsor region. CIPI-1will also explore data security and alert messaging interoperability issues. Additional capability is planned for a second phase of CIPI-1.The sponsors of this initiative include GeoConnections, the US Geological Survey, and General Dynamics. Participants include ClassCo Inc. (US), Compusult Ltd. (Canada), CubeWerx (Canada), ESRI (US), Galdos Systems (Canada), Ionic Enterprise (US), PCI Geomatics (Canada), SAIC (US), Syncline (US) and York University (Canada). In addition, the Spatial Technologies Industry Association (STIA) is providing public policy and intergovernmental affairs assistance to support CIPI-1.Organizations interested in learning more about Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative should contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, Executive Director of OGC Interoperability Programs, (703) 491-9543, jharrison@opengeospatial.org .OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 230 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, and empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org .– end –“