Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Disaster relief efforts in the Cloud supported by NJVC platform
NJVC was selected by the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) to provide the “platform as a service” (PaaS) element of a Cloud-computing-based humanitarian assistance and disaster response data exchange demonstration.
A combined technology solution, known as GeoCloud, will provide trusted connectivity between multiple independent vendor Cloud services through the use of this open platform. GeoCloud also will create a virtual organization of response teams, so members can easily access critical geospatial data in support of their intertwined missions on a pick-and-choose basis and consume that data on demand.
NJVC will leverage the Cloudcuity AppDeployer application PaaS to integrate various apps to support the needs of a diverse population of international disaster first responders (e.g., law enforcement, fire response, disaster medical response) into a common complex humanitarian disaster (CHD) management operating environment. In this implementation, the AppDeployer PaaS extends and complements the Google Maps Engine development PaaS platform.
Google will provide massively scalable, critical geospatial data and mapping services to the demonstration participants. The Cloud-based Google Maps Engine product lets users create, share, publish and view (via a browser or Google Earth client) purpose-built maps to address key CHD mission requirements.
When needed, Google Earth Server will provide an offline geospatial visualization capability on laptops, tablets and smartphones. These technologies will provide participants the ability to use one of the most familiar technologies in the world, with the same user experience as Google Earth and Google Maps, to easily exchange geospatial information and data within near-real-time operational constraints.
This activity supports cycle two of the geospatial community Cloud concept (GCCC) demonstration in support of future disaster relief efforts, and will be conducted on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
“Through the cohesive PaaS solution to be delivered by NJVC, first responders will have access to the Cloud services that they need -- whenever and wherever they need them -- and all disaster response activities will be managed from one secure interface,” said Kevin Jackson, vice president and general manager of NJVC cloud services. “GeoCloud is the glue to bond disparate apps into one powerful virtual community for first responders. NJVC is thrilled that Google’s technologies will provide the geospatial data backbone for the platform for cycle two of this historic community cloud demonstration.”
“Google is excited about the capabilities this new approach could deliver to first responders worldwide," said Phil Dixon, IC manager at Google. "We look forward to working with NCOIC and NGA to make this possibility a reality."
GCCC cycle two will showcase the delivery of basic geospatial PaaS capabilities within the context of a real CHD situation -- the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Cycle two began in early June, and will be a 90-day project.