Pennsylvania Awarded Federal Information Technology Grant to Enhance Homeland Security Efforts

Adrian R. King, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Edward G. Rendell, today announced that Pennsylvania is one of only 12 states to receive a Federal information technology grant to enhance its homeland security efforts. The $603,220 award will be used to build an enterprise geospatial technology (GT) data architecture to implement a common operating picture that will be critical to homeland security response systems and to foster geospatial data sharing among all levels of governments. "We are extremely pleased to receive this grant and have already put it to good use in planning and building the necessary geospatial technology data architecture for mapping out Pennsylvania's critical infrastructure," King said. "This initiative is vitally important to the protection of life, property and critical infrastructure of the Commonwealth and its citizens."

The primary goal of the project is to build a technical hardware and software architecture that will support a centralized geospatial data repository. This will provide a single definitive source for geospatial data in the Commonwealth to all agencies and all first responders.

Geospatial technologies are required in all homeland security and incident response systems to support threat assessment, planning and response capabilities and the ability to visualize information using intelligent maps. Today, these capabilities are fragmented and not cohesive in Pennsylvania. This model project will promote interoperability and integration between all levels of government and first responders across the Commonwealth through the use of Open GIS Consortium (OGC) standards for Web-mapping services to deliver geospatial data over the Internet.

King said the project will also test the federal Department of Homeland Security geospatial enterprise architecture model in Pennsylvania, providing valuable feedback to DHS on the implementation of this new federal model and its ability to serve the needs of state and local governments.

DHS awarded $9 million in information technology-demonstration projects. Pennsylvania's project was selected for funding based on innovative uses of technology for enhancing homeland security and for showing the greatest promise for nationwide application.