MapInfo forms homeland security unit

MapInfo Corp. of Troy, N.Y., Jan. 29 announced it formed a homeland security unit to help government agencies use location information to protect the nation's people and assets.

"With the nation's heightened awareness surrounding safety, an increasing number of organizations are realizing the crucial role of location intelligence in homeland security," said Brian Lantz, vice president of global business and sales development for MapInfo.

MapInfo combines software and data that aid in detection, preparedness, prevention, protection, recovery and business continuity. Its technology does the following:

  • Enables emergency personnel to see data about people, places and resources at a glance;

  • Collects government intelligence data, such as military assets or crime patterns, in a common, open format, allowing local, state and federal agencies to share information;

  • Pinpoints the location of important public assets including large landmarks, transportation hubs, underground telephone and electrical lines, and high-voltage power plants, and converts their addresses to points on a map.

The company's new program includes a series of seminars with corporations and government agencies to discuss homeland security and business continuity. The seminars will bring executives from MapInfo, Oracle Corp., Veritas Software Corp., Cognos Inc. and Symantec Corp. together, and will focus on an integrated enterprise approach to help organizations share information before, during and after emergencies. MapInfo executives also will brief advisers to Sen. Hillary Clinton Jan. 29 in Washington.

Several state and federal agencies rely on the company's technology for response and recovery efforts, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The New York City Police Department recently selected MapInfo technology for its next-generation agency-wide crime analysis system, which will allow city agencies to analyze crime patterns by location type and frequency for better crime prevention. The United States Border Patrol uses MapInfo technology to monitor and help secure the nation's borders.

In related news, MapInfo announced that it has been selected to participate in the Open GIS Consortium test bed Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative, sponsored by FEMA. The goal of the test bed is to establish a framework of interoperable services that demonstrate how products with OGC interfaces can access, merge and visualize critical spatial information in support of FEMA multi-hazard mitigation, response and recovery functions. The Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative is mandated by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

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