Dallas/Fort Worth GECCo Workshop addresses local community data needs
The most recent in the "Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration" or GECCo workshop series was held Thursday and Friday in Arlington, Texas. Hosted by Tarrant County Emergency Services and GITA's North Central Texas Chapter, the Dallas/Fort Worth GECCo drew 36 representatives of a variety of local and regional user organizations, including cities, counties, several utilities and first responder organizations. The federal Department of Homeland Security was also represented by Terry Rhea, Data Management and Collection Requirements Team Lead, Infrastructure Information Collection Division at DHS, who also delivered a presentation on federal resources for local agencies.
"The local community representatives were very engaged," said Executive Director Bob Samborski. "There was a sincere desire to identify what is getting in the way of better cooperation and in overcoming those obstacles. The GECCo concluded with a commitment by the group to continue to meet and work toward common objectives. In fact, there were several agreements to share geospatial data made between GECCo participants during the workshop. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!"
The overall goal of the GECCo workshop was to build on the body of knowledge accumulated in the six previous GECCo workshops, as well as local and regional efforts in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, to examine and begin to resolve collaboration and geospatial information exchange issues that are inhibiting effective critical infrastructure protection, and emergency preparedness and response. A final report and summary of observations will be available in the near future on the GITA website.
Interested in establishing a GECCo in your area? Under the auspices of a grant from DHS, GITA and DHS are currently in the process of identifying prospective locations for future GECCo workshops. Basic requirements for hosting a GECCo include a vibrant community of geospatial user stakeholders and an interest in advancing community abilities to respond to emergencies in a more effective and efficient manner through greater collaboration. Other considerations include representation of all federal regions, interest of a local host group (including GITA chapters), availability of facilities for the workshop and a commitment to further community collaboration once the GECCo workshop is concluded. Please contact GITA Executive Director Bob Samborski at email@example.com if interested.
GITA announces geospatial thought leadership paper series
GITA members are consistently pushing the boundaries of spatial technologies and our way of thinking about them. In an effort to expand member benefits, we are soliciting member-generated contributions to be featured in the GITA News Hub newsletter. Submissions should address challenges and their subsequent solutions and must follow GITA policies for publication. The papers will be archived and grouped into subject matter areas for easy reference. This growing body of knowledge will also include papers and presentations from past GITA conferences and will eventually be accessible by GITA members only. Please contact Talbot Brooks via firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the submission process.
Letter from the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations
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