When it comes to advancing information sharing and interoperability within and between organizations, jurisdictions, and geographies, collaboration across the public and private sectors is relied upon to help provide answers through a combination of technology, best practices and standards. Professional associations and standards development organizations (SDOs) are continually finding ways to reach across their mission boundaries to drive coordinated outcomes that benefit users nationally and internationally. While the alliance partnership between the IJIS Institute and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) represents an effective point-to-point relationship to cooperatively address increasingly tough interoperability challenges, I am writing today to update you on a broader collaborative in which the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and many other organizations are engaged to advance responsible information sharing and safeguarding solutions.
The organizations noted above are part of a Standards Coordinating Council (SCC) - a group chartered by the White House Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (ISA IPC) that consists of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and industry organizations working collectively to improve information sharing and safeguarding through the application of open standards and related best practices (see www.standardscoordination.org). The ultimate goal of the SCC is to help achieve a broad and pervasive implementation of a National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, and to coordinate the capabilities of the SCC that will lead to an enduring standards-based interoperability environment across the public and private sectors. While the SCC was launched as part of a governmental Information Sharing Environment (ISE) program in the USA (see www.ise.gov), the focus areas and challenges being addressed in this process are very much international as noted by the scoping illustration for the ISE:
A major part of the SCC’s mission is to provide comprehensive and coordinated advice on standards and interoperability best practices and to bring issues and solutions back to its constituents for action. This includes supporting the operationalization of interoperability architecture models like the: ISE Interoperability Framework (I2F), Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA), and other resources and tools that are taking shape under the guidance of the SCC. This body of knowledge serves to define common approaches for standards and interoperability from policy, process, data and services perspectives. There are major crosscutting functions of the Framework that are integral parts of the I2F including:
- identity credentialing and access management,
- geospatial information technologies,
- cybersecurity and threat monitoring, and
- device independent secure mobility.
As a step in furthering the SCC mission and broadening its audience, IJIS and the OGC recently facilitated a workshop at OGC’s Technical Committee Meetings in Barcelona, Spain, to provide an overview of SCC activities, including background on the ISE, a discussion on the role of the SCC, and an overview of key documents available and in process by the SCC. The workshop also featured a discussion of a pipeline of information sharing and safeguarding programs underway at the federal, state and local level. Some of these pipeline projects will be “mapped” at a very detailed level to the I2F, thus operationalizing I2F standards and interoperability guidance via real-world implementation examples. This work is being advanced under a program known as Project Interoperability.
The international significance of this work was affirmed by the attendees of the Barcelona workshop. Similar interoperability frameworks to those being advanced by the SCC for the USA are under development in Europe and other regions. Workshop attendees agreed that there are potential opportunities for advancing requirements and use cases into the SCC process as a way to further stimulate improved international coordination. Further, workshop attendees saw value in cross-linking the I2F, the GIRA and other work products of the SCC with similar international programs. This would broaden the availability of useful interoperability resources for all.
One of the more fundamental realizations from the Barcelona SCC workshop was that geospatial permeates the range of topics being advanced under the SCC and Project Interoperability. Further, OGC and IJIS members attending the workshop agreed that there is ample opportunity to leverage the SCC process to advance coordinated activities – interoperability testbeds, pilot initiatives, experiments, compliance testing and certification and other activities across SDOs in a way that encourages efficiencies and alignment of standards and best practice work at a much larger scale. These realizations are also reflected in the work of the IJIS Institute’s Geospatial Task Force, where IJIS Members representing law enforcement, public safety, and justice are adding the expertise of industry to strengthen these efforts.
For more about the SCC and upcoming events at which the SCC has a role, please visit www.standardscoordination.org. At the website you can also ask questions about the SCC, find ways to participate in the SCC activities, and submit projects for consideration in Project Interoperability. Representatives from member organizations of the SCC such as the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and others have participatory access to SCC activities. Member representatives should take the time to learn about and follow the SCC and its work – You have the ability to help influence the progress of standards information sharing and interoperability markets.