progress has been made in implementing the NSDI, many agencies and organizations are not yet managing their geospatial data resources effectively or participating fully in the NSDI. Data description through metadata is often insufficient to support effective discovery, and conflicts exist between the metadata requirements of NSDI and other programs such as the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center (NIC). A new effort to develop the necessary policies and guidelines for the support of emergency management, led by DHS but within the framework of the NSDI, would strengthen the efforts of both DHS and the NSDI and bring about more consistency. The recent work of DHS to develop the geospatial data model in conjunction with the FGDC is an example of how this could work and should be extended even further. Such a new initiative will likely require strong backing, in the form of a directive or even legislation, if it is to be effective. The Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), which supports the continued development of standards for emergency management, could be of great help in developing the needed standards, and the National Emergency Managers Association (NEMA) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) also would be critical in their development, but even more so in helping to ensure that standards are adopted and disseminated to the emergency management community.
RECOMMENDATION 3: A new effort should be established, within the framework of the NSDI and its governance structure and led by DHS, to develop policies and guidelines that address the sharing of geospatial data in support of all phases of emergency management. These policies and guidelines should define the conditions under which each type of data should be shared, the roles and responsibilities of each participating organization, data quality requirements, and the interoperability requirements that should be implemented to facilitate sharing.
The security of the data that are gathered for emergency management must be examined from a variety of perspectives. To begin with, there is the need to determine the actual risk to the nation should these data fall into the hands of terrorists or others with harmful intentions. A report20 by the RAND National Defense Research Institute entitled “Mapping the