Wayland, MA, USA, March 25, 2002 – How can emergency managers and planners improve their ability to access critical data needed to deal with natural hazards? The Open GIS Consortium's ( OGC ) Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative Phase 1 ( MMI-1 ) is tackling just that question in preparation for a public demonstration on March 29, 2002. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the initiative will develop and test a standards based framework for the discovery and distribution of multi-hazard map data between federal, state, and local emergency management agencies.Natural hazard maps and the base maps they depend upon are developed at all levels of government and in the private sector for a variety of purposes. The diversity of geographic information systems in use across organizations for hazard mapping hampers data sharing. This initiative will demonstrate how the Internet can be used as a medium to locate, retrieve and exploit multi-hazard map data from many different organizations regardless of the computing platform or vendor brand being used. This pilot will become an operational part of the OGC Network in April 2002. OGC members participating in this initiative include CubeWerx, Compusult, SAIC, ESRI, Harvard Design and Mapping ( HDM ) and MapInfo.The Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative demonstration will involve two fictional use cases, each focusing on different types of hazards. One scenario, based in California, uses for illustrative purposes the development of a 20-year land use plan. By combining information about land use, population, transportation and hazards data ( including earthquake susceptibility, historical data on faults, tsunamis, and wildfires ) , the planner can evaluate where exposure to natural hazards might warrant further evaluation in the planning process.The second scenario, located in North Carolina, will demonstrate the use of multi-hazard advisory maps to provide better information for a hurricane response plan for a three county region. A variety of geospatial data sets will be rapidly accessed from different organizations and combined with other critical information via the Internet to produce the maps. The demonstration will call upon data such as historic storm paths, flood maps, roads, hazard probability maps, and demographic information.The MMI-1 demonstration will take place at the Rosslyn Spectrum in Rosslyn, Virginia. Doors will open at 12:00 EST with the demonstration starting at 1:00 EST. Those interested in attending should register at http://ip.opengeospatial.org/mmi/mmi_reg.html . Directions to the Rosslyn Spectrum can be found at http://www.actorscenter.org/spectrum.html . Parking is limited, however there is ample public transportation available.MMI is part of the OGC Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver proven candidate interface specifications into the OGC Specification Development Program. If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring or participating in OGC's Interoperability Program, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, Interoperability Program Executive Director, (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, wireless and location-based services, 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 –“