An interesting letter has been penned by Drew Stephens and Devon Humphrey of the GIS Institute regarding GIS data issues and matters relating to the control of information on the part of BP.
In the letter, the following items have been noted:
- …several key factors of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command Structure (ICS) are not being met in the Unified Command process of the BP Deepwater Horizon Incident
- Current GIS management processes indicate that BP is treating GIS data as proprietary information…
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Louisiana National Guard, are literally submitting the only copy of agency field data, via wireless-enabled mobile GPS devices, directly to a BP GIS server behind the corporate firewall in Houston.
- The Geospatial Intelligence Officer (GIO) and the GIS Unit Leader, who proposed NIMS-compliant GIS architecture to Unified Command, and supported access to these GIS data, have been removed from the Houma ICP by BP IT department managers.
- We are deeply concerned about the location and stewardship of these data, as they represent a significant component of the record of this disaster, and they are not being managed in a NIMS-compliant manner.
- Andrew Stephens and Devon Humphrey, both Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals with 40 years combined GIS experience, were the primary architects of the GIS Unit and lab at Incident Command Post (ICP) Houma… After three weeks of service with no day off, Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Stephens were removed from post. It is our understanding the order came from senior BP IT staff from Houston.
Some very interesting comments are coming from the GIS Volunteer teams indeed. You can read the entire letter from Stephens & Humphrey HERE – NOTE: the original open letter has since been removed from the GISinstitute website.