To fulfill its mission, the Department must work closely with its partners and infrastructure information stakeholders within both the public and private sectors. Within the information technology arena, these partnerships focus on providing data and supporting and shaping the processes used to collect and disseminate infrastructure information, so that future products can better fit the needs of their users. Four ongoing infrastructure information partnerships support regional, state, local, and tribal preparedness, risk mitigation, and response.
The Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) Working Group
Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data Working group, known as HIFLD, includes more than 5,000 participating partners and four lead federal agencies: the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
HIFLD supports four mission areas:
- Homeland Security,
- Homeland Defense,
- Emergency Preparedness and Response, and
- Infrastructure Protection.
Through HIFLD, information is created, collected, or purchased once, then used many times for all mission areas. HIFLD also focuses on capturing federal, state, and local government geospatial infrastructure information requirements, promoting and identifying authoritative and best available government geospatial infrastructure information/data sources, and documenting and sharing best practices for federal, state, and local interagency coordination.
HIFLD provides partners with:
- Access to common infrastructure geospatial data sources;
- Established standards for geospatial data collection, processing, and sharing; and
- Participation in infrastructure information partnerships across all levels of government.
For more information, visit the HIFLD website.
The Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP)
HIFLD also works with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to manage the Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP), which is an infrastructure geospatial data inventory. HSIP compiles geospatial data from federal agencies, commercial vendors, state, and local partners for common use by the Homeland Security; Homeland Defense; and Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery communities. These datasets allow for nationwide infrastructure information access to assist decision makers in analyzing threats (whether natural or manmade) and modeling for emergencies and other missions.
HSIP is composed of two datasets, HSIP Gold and HSIP Freedom. HSIP Freedom is a subset of the HSIP Gold dataset that has been identified as license-free and distributable to participants within the state, local, and tribal homeland security; homeland defense; and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery mission areas. Both datasets are subject to For Official Use Only (FOUO) handling guidance. HSIP Gold is authorized for no-cost dissemination to federal interagency members of the three mission areas as well as to state, local, tribal, and territorial partners during a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
To request HSIP Gold, log on to the HIFLD website, go to the HSIP Gold page and complete the HSIP Gold request form. HSIP Freedom is available free to federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector mission partners and may be downloaded through the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) Geospatial Information System Community of Interest (COI). To gain access to HSIN, email HSIN.email@example.com with your:
- Official Email Address
- Phone Number
- Supervisor's name
- Community of Interest (i.e., Geospatial Information Systems, Emergency Management)
Learn more about HSIP Gold/Freedom at the HIFLD website.
HIFLD To The Regions
HIFLD To The Regions is a regional partnership that focuses HIFLD support on state and local priorities to increase and enhance regional critical infrastructure protection activities and to strengthen federal, state, local, and private sector partnerships. The partnership shares best practices and lessons learned from across the nation to:
- Reduce duplication of effort and mature capabilities;
- Support special events by bringing together people, partnerships, geospatial infrastructure data, and geospatial resources;
- Assists with distribution of the HSIP Gold and Freedom databases;
- Encourages feedback from data users; and
- Ensures the best available geospatial data is discovered, improved, and shared among partners.
HIFLD To The Regions Information Exchange Brokers collaborate with and support HIFLD working group members and their partners and are deployed to eight U.S. regions covering the United States that are supported by DHS Protective Security Advisors (PSA). Their regional presence allows them to continuously engage with public and private sector partners to promote domestic infrastructure information gathering, sharing, protection, visualization, and spatial analysis.
Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration (GECCo)
GECCo is a partnership with the Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) to facilitate an interactive dialogue at the local level among community infrastructure stakeholders to address collaboration and information exchange issues that inhibit effective response and recovery in times of emergency. GECCo is a series of two-day workshops that help public and private stakeholders develop effective collaboration mechanisms to protect critical infrastructure.
Workshop topics include: intra- and inter-organizational collaboration, effective practices and guidelines, information access and exchange, interoperability and enterprise architecture, and data and technology requirements.
The goals for future workshops include:
- Coordinating with PSAs, Information Exchange Brokers, and regional GITA contacts to identify local participants, initiatives, and resources.
- Discussing how to improve the flow of information and data from federal to state and local levels.
- Gaining an understanding of the DHS programs, tools, and methods available to help infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, and emergency managers.
- Working to expand relationships with PSAs and Information Exchange Brokers in various local jurisdictions.
- Enhancing understanding of geospatial technology as a key tool for supporting critical infrastructure protection and emergency response.
- Examining data sharing and collaboration issues and opportunities for infrastructure owners and operators.
- Defining the next steps for improving collaboration, information exchange, and data quality/format issues to support the objectives of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 and the National Incident Management System.
- Promoting awareness of relevant standards such as the U.S. National Grid, Incident Command System, and related concepts of emergency management, as well as the roles and responsibilities of PSAs and Information Exchange Brokers in supporting these standards, especially as this affects geospatial professionals.
For more information about GECCo, visit www.gita.org.