[Geowanking] Gulf Oil Spill Disaster GIS data locked behind BP Corporate Firewall

Catherine Burton catherine at endpointenvironmental.com
Tue Jun 15 11:33:06 PDT 2010

Interesting map for thought: http://www.ifitwasmyhome.com/ 

Catherine Burton | Owner / Manager, Endpoint Environmental, LLC | Organizer, WebMapSocial Meetup | Editor, BAAMA Journal | 474 23rd Ave., #2, San Francisco, CA., 94121 | (415) 902-0403 | www.endpointenvironmental.com 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brian Russo" <brian at beruna.org> 
To: "gis pundit" <gispundit at gmail.com> 
Cc: geowanking at geowanking.org 
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:28:19 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Gulf Oil Spill Disaster GIS data locked behind BP Corporate Firewall 

Submit FOIAs to the relevant agencies (e.g. USFWS) and see what happens. 

On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:15 AM, gis pundit <gispundit at gmail.com> wrote: 
> This is very disturbing. If ever there was a need for open geospatial data, 
> this is it. 
> I wonder what possessed the Federal & State Agencies to agree to upload 
> their only copies of the location data their responders are collecting in 
> the field to a BP-controlled GIS server? 
> If it wasn't so illegal, I'd say that BP corporate firewall was just begging 
> for a few good hackers to "fix" this problem  :) 
>>-------- Original Message -------- 
>>Subject:        FW: Letter on BP Oil Spill GIS Appears, Disappears 
>>Date:   Tue, 15 Jun 2010 09:17:14 -0400 
>>TO:     NWCG GIS Task Group 
>>Andrew Stephens and Devon Humphrey, both Geographic Information Systems 
>>(GIS) professionals with 40 years combined GIS experience, were the 
>>primary architects of the GIS Unit and lab at Incident Command Post 
>>(ICP) Houma. Mr. Stephens has 20 years GIS experience, teaching GIS to 
>>organizations worldwide, and is an expert in GIS deployment, start-up, 
>>training and workflow design. Mr. Humphrey has 20 years background in 
>>Oil Spill GIS with Texas General Land Office, where he was on the 
>>development team of an award-winning oil spill GIS. He has also been an 
>>instructor since 1994 at the National Spill Control School at Texas A&M 
>>University, Corpus Christi. The ‘Spill School’ is named in the Oil 
>>Pollution Act of 1990. 
>>Deepwater Horizon GIS Data Concerns 
>>From: Andrew Stephens and Devon Humphrey 
>>Date: June 9, 2010 
>>Subject: BP control of GIS data 
>>To Whom It May Concern: 
>>Executive Summary 
>>This letter is being submitted to make it known that several key factors 
>>of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command 
>>Structure (ICS) are not being met in the Unified Command process of the 
>>BP Deepwater Horizon Incident. Specifically regarding the treatment of 
>>Geographic Information System (GIS) data, current configuration and 
>>process limit, or exclude completely, the flow of information about the 
>>extent and status of the disaster to government entities, emergency 
>>responders, and the public. 
>>GIS is essential to the oil spill response effort and to the recovery of 
>>public resources. Almost every map and geographic display representing 
>>the Deepwater Horizon Incident is sourced by GIS data. Current GIS 
>>management processes indicate that BP is treating GIS data as 
>>proprietary information, and these data are currently being stored 
>>behind the BP corporate firewall. It is our understanding that public 
>>agencies, for example, The US Fish and Wildlife Service and The 
>>Louisiana National Guard, are literally submitting the only copy of 
>>agency field data, via wireless-enabled mobile GPS devices, directly to 
>>a BP GIS server behind the corporate firewall in Houston. Examples of 
>>these data are; dead bird and fish locations with photos, boom 
>>placement, engineered construction barriers, including dates, and other 
>>descriptive information and photos. 
>>State Emergency Operation Center (EOC) staff, Parish EOC staff, and 
>>other Emergency Responders and Recovery Specialists do not have access 
>>to these GIS datasets, contrary to all NIMS guidance, protocols and 
>>Per NIMS, redundancy of incident information is to be managed jointly, 
>>and fully accessible by the Federal On Scene Coordinator (FOSC), the 
>>State On Scene Coordinator (SOSC), and the Responsible Party. Technology 
>>allows implementation of this design to occur instantaneously and 
>>automatically (see attached diagram). The intent of this letter is to 
>>inform The President, the National Incident Commander, the FOSC, the 
>>SOSC, and the public, of the need to establish and enforce NIMS 
>>compliant access policies over all Deepwater Horizon oil spill GIS data. 
>>The Geospatial Intelligence Officer (GIO) and the GIS Unit Leader, who 
>>proposed NIMS-compliant GIS architecture to Unified Command, and 
>>supported access to these GIS data, have been removed from the Houma ICP 
>>by BP IT department managers. 
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Brian Russo / (808) 271 4166 

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