Public Safety

Additional Public Safety GIS Resources

The following links are provided as a service to the emergency management and law enforcement communities.


GeoCONOPS is a strategic roadmap to understand and improve the coordination of geospatial activities across the entire spectrum of the Nation: from federal, to state and local governments; to private sector and community organizations; academia; the research and development industry; and citizens in support of Homeland Security and Homeland Defense.

Benefits of the HLS GeoCONOPS include:
1) Geospatial Mission blueprint of the resources and capabilities available for support in Homeland Security Enterprise
2) Identifies points of coordination and collaboration
3) Documents authoritative geospatial data sources
4) Describes best practices
5) Identifies technical capabilities

The Homeland Security GeoCONOPS Community web site is administered by The DHS Geospatial Management Office. For questions, comments, or to provide input, please contact the GMO via E-Mail:

U. S. National Grid (USNG)

Maps use a standard set of street names and addresses to locate places. The USNG does not replace this practice; it complements it. The USNG expands the utility of topographic, street, and other large-scale maps by adding several powerful features: It provides a grid reference system that is seamless across jurisdictional boundaries; it provides the foundation for a universal map index; it enables user-friendly position referencing on appropriately gridded paper and digital maps, with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers; and World Wide Web map portals.

The USNG may be the only unambiguous way to describe locations when the end-user is operating either in an area away from the established road network, or in an area impacted by a natural disaster where road signs have been destroyed.

You may find more information on the USNG on the Federal Geographic Data Committee USNG Web Site and the USNG Information Center.


The Capability and Readiness Assessment Tool (CARAT) is a tool created by NAPSG Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit) and is intended for public safety practitioners interested in learning about and/or building a GIS to support the work of their agency. It is designed to serve as a roadmap for anyone interested in learning about, doing, or directing a GIS program to support public safety.

How does it work? Simply look through the topics in the four categories; Planning, Preparedness, Response or Recovery. When you see the issue that you are interested in implementing in your department, click on it. You will see a continuum - CRAWL, WALK, or RUN. A short description of each will help you identify your current capability and describe what is next for you.

You may find more information about CARAT on the NAPSG web site.

National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG)

NAPSG is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2005 to overcome the challenges faced by Federal, tribal, state, and local public safety agencies.

It was reorganized in 2008 to operationalize the mission through education and research around information sharing and data interoperability associated with GIS and advanced technologies used by the public safety and homeland security communities. NAPSG Foundation relies on a broad base of support from public safety and homeland security professionals across all levels of government. It also works with private sector industries that are dedicated to achieving a higher level community resilience.

NAPSG's Mission is "To support the public safety and homeland security communities in the advancement of data interoperability and connectivity, through Geographic Information Systems, in support of local and national preparedness goals."

You may find more information about NAPSG on its web site.

National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC)

Launched in June 2012, NISC strives to improve the state of public safety and emergency management information sharing and interoperability through its commitment to four areas of responsibility - sharing, connecting, innovating, and leading. No single function is performed in isolation - they are all interconnected, collectively enabling the NISC to foster capacity building to all of our members on multiple levels.

NISC's mission is - "As an independent consortium, the NISC strives to bring together data owners, custodians, and users involved in the fields of homeland security, public safety, and emergency management and response to leverage efforts related to governance, development, and sharing of technology, data processes, and best practices."

You may find more information about NISC on its web site.

National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC)

NSGIC's Mission is to promote statewide geospatial coordination activities in all states and to be an effective advocate for states in national geospatial policy and initiatives, thereby enabling the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

NSGIC is an organization committed to efficient and effective government through the prudent adoption of geospatial information technologies (GIT). Members of NSGIC include senior state geographic information system (GIS) managers and coordinators. Other members include representatives from federal agencies, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations. A rich and diverse group, the NSGIC membership includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in geospatial information technologies, data creation and management as well as information technology policy.

You can find more information about NSGIC on its web site, including detailed information about the coordination efforts in each of the states on the State Info page. These pages also provide links to the State Clearinghouse sites that provide information on GIS data and links to web mapping services.

Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Database (HIFLD)

The HIFLD Working Group was established in February 2002 to address desired improvements in collection, processing, sharing, and protection of homeland infrastructure geospatial information across multiple levels of government and to develop a common foundation of homeland infrastructure data to be used for visualization and analysis on all classification domains.

HSIP Gold is a unified homeland infrastructure geospatial data inventory assembled by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security for official use by the Homeland Security and Homeland Defense (HLS/HD) and National Preparedness - Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery (NP-PPMR&R) communities. It is a compilation of over 450 geospatial datasets, characterizing domestic infrastructure and base map features, which have been assembled from a variety of Federal agencies and commercial sources.

You may find more information about HIFLD on its web site.

Geospatial Platform

The Geospatial Platform is an Internet-based capability providing shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs. Through the Geoplatform, users will have access to:

1) Authoritative data to support informed decision making
2) Problem solving applications (services) that are built once and used many times across multiple Federal agencies and other organizations
3) A shared cloud-computing infrastructure to host data and applications
4) A National and Federal focal point where governmental, non-governmental, private, 
and public data and applications can be visualized together to inform and address national and regional issues

You may find the Geospatial Platform here.

Digital Coast

Finding good data is one thing - applying it to solve complex coastal issues is another. That's why the Digital Coast website provides not only essential data sets, but also the tools and training coastal communities need to turn these data into useful information. This centralized, user-friendly, and cost-effective information repository was developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center for the coastal managers, planners, decision-makers, and technical users who are charged to manage the nation's coastal and ocean resources to sustain vibrant coastal communities and economies.

You may find Digital Coast here.