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FEMA Looks to Cloud for Geospatial Data Storage; Issues RFI

Thursday, February 28th 2013
By Adena Schutzberg

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) faces the regular challenge of collecting, managing, fusing, using and sharing data during emergencies. While the process is getting better, the agency is looking for enhancements. And, it's looking to the cloud.

The vision is to move geospatial data to the cloud to provide federal, state and local agencies and other partners with real-time access to critical data during emergencies, per a request for information titled FEMA’s Disaster Management and Support Environment (DMSE) Program Management Office, under FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery is leaded the effort.

DMSE currently uses Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which got a good workout during Hurricane Sandy. Demand was so high another server had to be added. The interface is ArcGIS Online. While there is a "sign in" option on the main page of the FEMA Geoplatform, one need not log in to see public data per the RFI. The page is essentially the same as ArcGIS Online, a page I find innapropriate for the public.

Questions are due Feb 28 and responses March 11.

- GCN

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