Army engineers utilize Google Earth around Europe
July 12, 2010
- The Europe District is heading up a project that aims at making project data easily accessible by simply zooming in on a virtual globe
- The database takes more than 3,000 fields of data and puts them into a database to assist in force protection & provide details on projects
- Once the system is fully operational, users will be able find Corps projects labeled with location, A/E, customer, project manager & status
WIESBADEN, Germany Aca,!" Analysts at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, who study IED attacks all over the world, maintain their information in a database that links to intelligence agencies as well as other federal agencies. People involved in attacks can then be cross referenced and flagged.
While the U.S. African Command and U.S. European Command already use Google Earth as a database to display this data, as do many major intelligence agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District currently has no database that can be linked with other intelligence databases for security and data sharing.
But that will soon change with the help of Google Earth.
Tom Rodehaver, the districtAca,!a,,cs computer-aided design and geographic information systems administrator, along with Maj. Sean Hurst, a U.S. Army intelligence officer, are heading up a project to develop a database that aims at making district project data easily accessible by simply zooming in on a virtual globe.
Rodehaver said he wanted to display these necessary security details along with project data in a visually-appealing and manageable way in a GIS system that could be accessed Corps-wide and could link to other government security systems. Eventually, the districtAca,!a,,cs database will be linked to these existing ones.
Aca,!A"Aside from basic project data, this database will allow users to see who the A/E [design team] is as well as construction contractors, which helps district personnel with security and force protection requirements,Aca,!A? Hurst said. Aca,!A"It gives us a visual idea of what weAca,!a,,cre doing and where we are doing it.Aca,!A?
The new database will take more than 3,000 seemingly-endless fields of district project data from the Resident Management System along with its associated latitude and longitude for the project location, and put them into a more user-friendly database.
Aca,!A"We work with a lot of personnel throughout the world in the form of contractors and subcontractors. What if one was under investigation or being sought by the government for a federal crime or, worst-case scenario, a suspected terrorist' We wouldnAca,!a,,ct know,Aca,!A? Hurst said.
The system will not only assist in force protection, it will also provide details on Corps projects in one location.
Aca,!A"Not only do we, the Corps of Engineers, have a variety of personnel that we work with throughout Europe and the Middle EastAca,!" we also have people who come and go due to overseas tour restrictions,Aca,!A? Rodehaver said. Aca,!A"Projects can take anywhere from a year or two to five years or more. If that information is not all in one place and easily accessible, we can lose data.Aca,!A?
Once the system is fully operational, project managers and security personnel will be able find Corps projects labeled with location, A/E, contract number, customer, project manager, funding source, status and a photo with a click and drag of the mouse.
At this point the project is still in development, but Rodehaver and Hurst said they are hopeful that it will be available for employees and anyone with a .gov or .mil e-mail address soon.