Emergency & Disaster Management DWG


Chou, Tien-Yin (Feng Chia University) - Co-Chair,
Knudson, Jacqueline (Jaci) (US Dept. of Defense/DISA) - Co-Chair,
Sullivan, Don (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)) - Co-Chair

Group Description:

This Domain Working Group is a merger of the Law Enforcement and Public Safety DWG and the Emergency and Disaster Management DWG.  Until the joint charter is approved, the charters of each of the groups will be displayed here:


The purpose of the EDM DWG is to promote and support the establishment of requirements and best practices for web service interfaces, models and schemas for enabling the discovery, access, sharing, analysis, visualization and processing of information to the forecasting, prevention, response to and recovery from emergency and disaster situations.


The mission of the EDM DWG is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of users in all phases of emergency and disaster activities communities through changes and extensions to OpenGIS® specifications which result in interoperable geospatial products and other information consumables that can be shared across these communities.

Objectives and Key Activities:

The EDM DWG provides a forum for uniting communities of users including government agencies, industry, research organizations, Non government organizations and others in various phases of emergency and disaster activities. The EDM DWG will:

  • Invite discussion of interoperability and standards requirements, use cases and related input from organizations involved in EDM. Example topics include but are not limited to:
    • Addressing a range of events, from small to large scale.
    • Involving limited or denied communications environments.
    • Limited “time to deploy” inherent in Emergency and Disaster event operations.
    • Trans-border events, such as nuclear accidents and pollutant dispersion, involving international and a variety of national institutions.
    • Assessment of institutional policy and practices as drivers for standards assessment, development, testing, validation and demonstration.
    • Consideration of changing technology and social trends, such as the impact of social networking, crowd sourcing and other mass market trends.
  • Evaluate input with respect to existing standards and architecture (including the OpenGIS Reference Model)
  • Identify interoperability standards gaps and opportunities to support improved EMDR information sharing, collaboration and decision making.  
  • Work closely with other OGC Technical Committee activities as necessary to define requirements and coordinate standards development and maintenance related to EDM objectives. 
  • Develop new requirements and change requests for consideration by OGC membership, and/or by other Standards Development Organizations ’s as appropriate
  • Propose or encourage initiation of Interoperability Program studies, experiments, pilot initiatives, testbed threads or demonstrations to address technical, institutional and policy related interoperability challenges, and identify and engage the interest of potential sponsors for these activities.
  • Coordinate with relevant OGC Alliance Partner organizations to identify requirements, advance standards and promote best practices.
  • Support outreach opportunities to include event participation, articles, etc.  to communicate the benefits of OGC standards, and to support and assist the user community with the adoption of OGC standards and best practices related to EDM

Chairs and Co-chairs: Jaci Knudson, Jimmy Chou, Gianluca Luraschi, James Penman


Introduction and Background

OGC standards development process have depended upon communities of interest working to advance standards for improved information sharing, situational awareness and decision making.  OGC’s working group activities, testbeds and pilot initiatives will benefit from being driven by requirements and use cases provided by representatives from the law enforcement, civil security and public safety communities. 

Criminal acts and crises events have no boundaries, yet manifest themselves locally.  The ability to keep citizenry safe, prevent crime, and protect against acts of terror, widely depends on the ability to acquire relevent data, rapidly share appropriate data, analyze the information at hand, and make smart operational decisions.  Turning seemingly disparate data into actionable intelligence, through the  ‘intelligence life-cycle’ of planning, direction, collection, processing/exploitation, analysis/production, and dissemenation depends on geospatial and temporal correlation. Along with proper training and equipment, being ‘armed’ with location based situational awareness is what assures timely safety and security measures are taken.  

Law enforcement, civil security and public safety applications include the data, networks, web services that tie together levels of command, departments, organizations, dispatch users and field mobile users with current and accurate role-based location information.  Benchmarks from some urban law enforcement organizations indicate that geospatially enabled policing yields valuable improvements.  For example, geospatial analysis has helped law enforcement implement ‘hot spot’ policing for over 20 years.  Identifying high concentrations of crime in small geographic areas facilitates effective prevention and enforcement strategies that have proven to reduce crime.  

Open standards compliant GIS Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products are rapidly evolving to leverage virtualized and mobile computing environments and provide location based services.  These interoperable geospatial technologies when extended to fill some key gaps and applied in a holistic manner - with ease of integrated use in mind - have the potential to dramatically improve the law enforcement, civil security and public safety domain effectiveness and efficiency.  The Open Geospatial Consortium’s Open Web Services (OWS) interoperability test beds, when guided by a proactive Domain Working Group will be a practical method to coalesce GIS COTS vendors, solutions integrators, research organizations and government sponsors and make coherent strides in end-to-end capabilities and associated deployment and usage best practices. With the right mission experienced people as active participants, the LEAPS DWG will understand that it is imperative that future technology solutions are designed to support operational workflow and the public safety mission.

The Abu Dhabi Police joined the Open Geospatial Consortium as a Principal Member in order to lead a domain working group that will be supported by law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces from UAE, the Middle East region and other world regions. The Abu Dhabi Police have collaborated with North American, European and Asian law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces for many years.  Thus, the Abu Dhabi Police is ideally positioned to provide connection to the Middle East region as broader international community, as well as being able to promote participation and adoption of open standards development throughout the community of practice.  The Abu Dhabi Police will lead this open consensus based community of practice to co-evolve geospatially enabled best practices through a proactive Law Enforcement and Public Safety (LEAPS) domain working group (DWG).

Geospatial information and techologies along with OGC and complimentary open standards are being increasingly leveraged in major research and operational programs involved in emergency and disaster planning, early warning, prevention, response and recovery.  



The purpose of the LEAPS DWG is to promote and support the establishment of local, national, regional and international requirements and best practices for web service interfaces, data models and schemas for enabling the discovery, access, sharing, analysis, visualization and processing of information.  This geospatially and temporally correlated information will be used to comprehensively address crime, terrorist activities and public safety incidents in an operationally effective way.

The scope of work for the LEAPS DWG will span all phases of GIS enabled law enforcement, civil security and public safety activities.


Charter: Mission, Objectives and Key Activities



The mission of the LEAPS DWG is to drive open geospatial standards, interoperable geospatial products and best implementation practices that support improved decision making and operational efficiencies for all echelons of law enforcement, civil security and public safety community of users.


Objectives and Key Activities

The LEAPS DWG provides a unifying forum for local, National, regional and international law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces along with associated industry, academic and research organizations to collaboratively support the maturation of new ways to plan, think and operate with geospatial enablement.   The LEAPS DWG will:

  • Establish LEAPS community business outcomes and associated key performance indicators to derive LEAPS DWG goals and progress measurements
  • Identify LEAPS community interoperability and standards requirements, use cases, data models and related geospatial standards gaps such as:
    • The ability to distribute individual data sets and/or collections of data sets in a secure, consistent and accurate manner – including the use of locations and geometries in role based access control
    • The ability to execute time sensitive geodataset transfers over disadvantaged and,  at times, disconnected networks to and from mobile users
    • The ability to support temporal queries of changing geodatasets.
    • The ability to support web services and client applications involving synchronization and updates of geospatial data across a hierarchical Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)
    • Streamlined validation scenarios, bootstrap database creation and population, and defined query based subscription mechanisms
    • The ability to share analytical tools and tradecraft across communities of practice
  • Drive LEAPS domain requirements, use cases and data models into OGC testbeds and pilot initiatives
  • Foster LEAPS domain specific collaboration between multi-national Governments, Industry, Academia and Research Organizations
  • Harmonize common geospatial practices and LEAPS mission specific vocabularies
  • Reach out and educate communities of users and geospatial technology providers with LEAPS domain best practices


Membership & Governance



The LEAPS DWG will be open to any OGC member at any time, in accordance with the OGC Policies and Procedures. The LEAPS DWG also seeks to be inclusive of all organisations and groups with a desire to contribute to the goal of interoperability within the chartered mission of this DWG. The LEAPS DWG will encourage regular interaction with representatives of the the broad community of law enforcement, civil security and public safety stakeholders.



The LEAPS DWG shall be governed in accordance with OGC Technical Committee Policies and Procedures.


Business Case

The LEAPS DWG will provide a forum for the discussion, prioritization and advancement of open standards solutions to benefit the LEAPS community.  It will also serve as a platform for outreach and education to help increase awareness of the value of OGC standards based enterprise solutions in the LEAPS community.   This will accelerate the acceptance and uptake of OGC standards in the LEAPS communities for improved interoperability, data sharing and decision making.

Development in leading edge technology is expensive and resource consuming and therefore need to only focus on gaps that need to be filled in order to fully leverage the extensive set of GIS COTS and Internet Infrastructure and their on-going technology advances. The current speed of technological advancement makes it virtually impossible for any individual organization to keep up. An OGC Forum presents an opportunity to both Government and the private sector to increase collaboration and sharing of resources to drive LEAPS domain innovation and while reducing life cycle costs.