Wayland, MA, 22 March 2010.  Industry representatives who are working with the National Institute of Building Sciences to develop a toolkit for Haiti will be able to coordinate efforts much more easily with the help of a portal donated by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC®) (http://www.opengeospatial.org).

In the wake of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Haiti on January 13, the National Institute of Building Sciences asked the United States codes and standards community to provide guidance in the reconstruction of the island nation. The Institute put out a call to industry for assistance in the development of a tool kit to help guide Haiti in rebuilding. The participants met on Wednesday, February 17. Approximately 40 individuals and/or organizations are engaged in the project.

The OGC agreed to host a web portal so committees who are working on the project can share information and documents quickly and efficiently. The portal will be based on the portal developed by the OGC for its own use. The OGC is already hosting a Web page (http://www.ogcnetwork.net/networks/haiti) that provides links to Earth images, maps and other geospatial data that are being used in Haiti earthquake disaster relief.

The toolkit will include recommendations, examples and specific guidance on how to rebuild better and stronger to resist the hazards of natural disasters. Committees are addressing categories such as project oversight, design criteria, materials and systems, and training.

The Institute plans to deliver the toolkit to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that the Department of State can present it to Haiti for the reconstruction of its buildings and structures.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 385 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled.  Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org.