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Direct Relief International (DRI) Initial CAP Lessons Learned Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love UICDS. Dr. Andrew Schroeder - DRI Joel Myhre - Nordic Geospatial. Overview. Introduction to Direct Relief International (DRI)

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Direct Relief International (DRI) Initial CAP Lessons LearnedOr, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love UICDS

Dr. Andrew Schroeder - DRI

Joel Myhre - Nordic Geospatial


  • Introduction to Direct Relief International (DRI)

  • SAP Enterprise Data and GIS Efforts for humanitarian medical assistance

  • DRI Enterprise IT (SAP, Google, ESRI, etc.) Business Drivers for Implementing Common Alerting Protocol in the US and Globally

  • eGIS Strategy for Emergency Management Situational Awareness and CAP-EDXL via UICDS Pilot

  • Concluding Remarks and Feedback

Much like the World Health Organization, the Marshall Plan, the transistor, cybernetics and information theory, Direct Relief International was founded in 1948.


Efficient, targeted and global scale delivery of humanitarian medical relief to health care professionals treating vulnerable populations without regard to politics, religion, race, gender, ethnicity or ability to pay.


DRI Enterprise IT: Business Drivers for CAP Implementation

CAP SCENARIOS: eGIS Strategy for Emergency Management Situational AwarenessFrom California … to Japan

  • DRI partners with the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC, etc. for domestic US disaster response and preparedness

  • DRI’s eGIS Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) incorporates a myriad of NGO (InterAction partners), UN, local, US Federal and State OGC (Open GIS Consortium) web mapping data services in addition to CAP-EDXL

  • For resilient Continuity of Operations (COOP), DRI hosts onsite collections of over 150 GB of USGS imagery for California and 200+ vector layers displaying US HSIP Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)

DRI Geo Concept of Operations (CONOPS)

  • Authoritative INTRA – DRI SAP Data

  • Enhanced EXTERNAL Live Data Feeds for Situational Awareness (CAP-EDXL, Geo RSS, KML, etc.)

  • ArcGIS Server for Consolidation, Optimization, Distribution & Geospatial Analysis

  • Viewer Neutral/Agnostic User-Defined Operational Picture (UDOP) – i.e. FLEX Viewer, Ushahidi, Sahana, GoogleEarth, ArcGIS Desktop, mobile (Android, RIM Blackberry, iPhone, etc.)

GIS (ArcSDE), SQL Server

& other data

GeoRSS, RSS, KML via, NOAA, NC4,

Pacific Disaster Center, etc

eGIS Strategy for Emergency Management Situational Awareness

  • DRI Emergency Managers have access to the US DHS Earth (Google) and DHS iCAV (ESRI ArcGIS Server) Web-based Applications – displayed here, California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

DIRECT RELIEF’S COMMON OPERATING PICTURE: Events / Patients / Health Infrastructure / Medical SupplyEvent data received in CAP format and linked to base layers Supply data shared with clinical, supplier and public partners from SAP in CAP format via UICDS Core

DRI & Unified Incident Command Decision Support - UICDS

  • UICDS http://www.uicds.usis a US-wide (soon to be evaluated by NATO) initiative for data sharing and interoperability via US DHS, SAIC, and over 70 vendor and government entities

  • Complies with US National Incident Management System (NIMS)

  • Incorporates a ‘tree of knowledge’ approach >

Viewer Neutral – Google Earth with NOAA CAP Alert via UICDS

Viewer Neutral – ESRI Viewer with USGS EQ & Google GeoRSS Radiologic Alerts

Viewer Neutral – ESRI Viewer with NavigationalCharts and Terrain Profile for Myanmar EQ

Concluding Remarks

Lessons learned thus far:

  • CAP lives for us within an ecosystem of data sharing arrangements (GeoRSS, OGC, etc.) as one key element facilitating rapid situational awareness.

  • Although CAP alerts can be used to transfer large amounts of data they tend to be most effective in more limited and targeted forms to signify event definitions and changes of state

  • Use of extant, Common Off the Shelf (COTS) technologies, plus standard data sharing protocols (CAP-EDXL) and ongoing best-of-breed integrative initiatives (i.e. UICDS, US HIFLD, UNGIWG, etc.) enables a small yet nimble NGO to meet and exceed Emergency Management expectations and requirements

  • Outreach to regional academic and science & technology (S&T – i.e. UCLA CENS, RAND Corp, Aerospace Corp, UCSB Spatial, etc.) subject matter experts (SMEs) and thought leaders allows DRI to circumvent certain strategic or tactical/technical road blocks

  • True vendor partners, such as SAP, ESRI, Google, SimplerSystems, etc. allow DRI to serve as a test bed for beta technologies and R&D efforts

    We welcome your feedback & feel free to contact us at &

    Thank you

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