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Spatial Information Technologies in
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Research and Special Programs Administration
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
OF TRANSP NT O ME
ON ATI RT
A Research Agenda In CIP
M S TA TES OF A
The National Consortia on Remote Sensing in Transportation are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, and NASA Earth Science Enterprise. This research partnership involves four university consortia and a number of Technology Application Partners, working with transportation practitioners at the federal, state and local level in the U.S. and abroad. Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) is a major focus of NCRST-Infrastructure. It is being addressed in a series of user consultations and specialist meetings, methodological research and publications. Participation of local agencies is essential to the success of this effort. For background on the program, updates to this document and additional NCRST resources, please visit our web site (below). Most consortium publications are available in digital form. You are free to reproduce them, giving credit as appropriate.
National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation— Infrastructure Management University of California, Santa Barbara University of Wisconsin-Madison Iowa State University University of Florida Digital Geographic Research Corporation Geographic Paradigm Computing Inc
The National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation—Infrastructure is examining the role of remote sensing and geospatial information technologies in Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), specifically in the identification and preservation of Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI). Activities planned for the coming year include ·
compilation of materials and data of interest to local agencies,
coordination of activities with CIP agencies,
specialist meetings of CIP professionals, including private and public agencies, and academics.
In February 2002, NCRST-Infrastructure established a web-based public consultation to poll experts on high priority issues in CIP. This document is a first draft of a research agenda, based on input from the consultation, as well as other individual and group discussions. We would like to thank, in particular: ·
Donald F Cooke, Founder, Geographic Data Technology, Inc
Michael W Everett, Manager, Homeland Defense, Wargaming, Education, & Training, BoeingAutometric
Edward F Granzow, Traffic/Transport. Modeling Tech Leader, Transport. Business Group, CH2MHill Engineers
Cheng Liu, Center for Transportation Analysis, ORNL
John P Murray, Chief, Information and Planning, FEMA
Bruce A Ralston, Professor and Head, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee
Steven John Tomisek, Senior Military Fellow, Research Directorate, Institute of National Strategic Studies
Zdenka S Willis, Senior Military Fellow, National Strategic Gaming Center, National Defense University
Research projects reflecting some of the items in this agenda are already underway. Nevertheless the agenda will evolve with further input, and we continue to welcome contributions at the web site: www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/ncrst/meetings/200202CIP
Michael F Goodchild — Principal Investigator Richard L Church — Co-Principal Investigator Val Noronha — Project Director
The Role of Geospatial Technology in Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection: A Research Agenda David R. Fletcher, Geographic Paradigm Computing, Inc, P.O. Box 40483, Albuquerque, NM 87196
Threats to the Nation’s Critical Transportation Infrastructure The transportation infrastructure of the United States, like every country in the world, has been vulnerable to attack, disruption, damage and destruction for many years. Although these disruptions have been caused principally by natural disasters such as floods, storms, fires or earthquakes, deliberate attacks on transportation facilities have occurred with increased frequency in the past 10 years [Everett]. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have created a new awareness of the critical role and vulnerability of transportation fleets and facilities. Before this incident, no single disaster or attack affecting transportation facilities had resulted in significant national consequences. For example, although the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, the 1993 Mississippi River flood and the 1992 Hurricane Andrew in Florida resulted in significant regional property damage and produced many casualties, none of these disasters seriously disrupted national travel or national economic activities. Travelers and shippers alike were able to exploit redundancies in the system while local transportation authorities quickly restored service in each of these areas. However, the experiences of September
Although no universally agreed upon definition of or criteria for the Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI) exists, most observers would agree that the CTI is composed of those transportation facilities whose removal from service would significantly affect public safety, national security, economic activity or environmental quality. Some commentators suggest that only those facilities that are essential to national defense or global economic activity be designated as “critical.” Any facility falling short of these measures can be labeled “important” [Everett]. In the absence of a formal CTI designator, federal, state and local officials have the latitude to designate CTI facilities of varying degrees of importance. That is, what is deemed critical to a particular state or city may not be critical from a national perspective and vice versa. A related but distinct concept involves “transportation lifelines,” transportation facilities providing essential accesses for emergency services to disaster sites and allowing for the evacuation of at-risk persons and property from those sites. Transportation lifelines are primarily local in nature and are defined by the location, type, and severity of the disaster and by the demographics and land use of the region in which the disaster occurs. Again, designated local and regional lifelines may not coincide with national ones.
11, 2001 and the concern over future attacks has given renewed emphasis to adopting better strategies for Examples of Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI)
transportation (and other essential infrastructures) disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. What is the Critical Transportation Infrastructure?
The United States maintains approximately 4 million miles of streets, roads and highways, over 580 thousand bridges, 150 thousand miles of railroads, over 5000 public
Major arterial highways and bridges comprising the National Highway System (NHS), including the Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET) and
National Intermodal Connectors. International marine harbors, ports and airports.
airports, plus 1.3 million miles of gas pipeline and 180 thousand miles of oil pipelines [BTS]. While each of these
Major railroads, including depots, terminals and stations.
facilities provides much-needed travel and economic links to local communities, the vast majority supports primarily
Oil and natural gas pipelines. Transportation Control Systems (e.g., air traffic
local movements of persons and goods. Only a small subset of the entire transportation infrastructure can be considered of major national interest.
control centers, national rail control centers) [Everett].
However, most of the threats, disaster management functions, information needs and technology opportunities presented in this discussion apply equally to critical facilities and to transportation lifelines. Moreover, since the requirements for defining and developing a comprehensive system of disaster are independent of the specific facilities designated, both critical facilities and transportation lifelines will be referred to as critical transportation infrastructure (CTI). Threats to the Critical Transportation Infrastructure
Threats to the Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI) 1.
In general, a threat to the CTI can be any event, incident or condition that has the potential for removing a portion of the CTI or severely degrading its performance for a significant amount of time. Note that the concept of threat is distinct from the risk to the CTI, which is a more
Natural Disasters a. Fires b. Floods c. Storms d. Earthquakes Human Caused Disasters a. HAZMAT spills and releases b. Major traffic crashes Social, Criminal and Terrorist Activities a. Vandalism b. Sabotage c. Civil unrest/riots/strikes d. Attacks using chemical, biological, nuclear or explosive weapons Other a. Deferred maintenance and neglect b. Energy and material shortages
complex combination of threat, exposure (the likelihood of the threat affecting a particular facility) and consequence (the direct and indirect costs of a successful threat). Threats can come from natural causes, as a by-product of human activities or from deliberate actions undertaken for criminal or terrorist purposes.
with continuous monitoring and surveillance, threat interdiction remains an elusive and unrealistic goal. Additionally, because transportation facilities are intended to provide maximum access, no realistic strategy can eliminate the facility’s risk exposure.
Because of its ubiquitous presence in our society, every natural, accidental, criminal or other disruptive event, whether targeted at a transportation facility or not, will have some effect on travel and transportation. Conversely, any attack or incident targeted at critical transportation facilities will likely affect other critical infrastructures (e.g., the electric power or communication distribution systems, food or water supplies, government services, fuel supply). Accounting for these interdependencies adds much more complexity to an already daunting task facing the Disaster Manager. These critical interdependencies may preclude focusing exclusively on the CTI. Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection (CTIP) In some sense, the term “Critical Infrastructure Protection” is a misnomer. Since disasters are, from the point of view of the CTI, inherently random in nature, no critical transportation component can be “protected” (i.e., made secure from any damage to the CTI, persons and property). No fail-safe methods, technologies or approaches exist that can eliminate all conceivable risk to the CTI. Earthquakes will still occur, accidents will still happen and dedicated terrorists will still succeed. Even
Moreover, trying to identify all possible exposures of all possible threat events across all critical components and forecasting all possible consequences is an impossible task. Each piece of the CTI has unique physical and performance characteristics, managed by semiautonomous agencies; each threat to the critical transportation infrastructure poses unique risks and consequences to individual components of the CTI. Although “protection” of the CTI remains an impossible ambition, Disaster Managers can adopt competent strategies for disaster management to effectively reduce the impact of disasters [Banger]. These strategies typically include pre-disaster preparedness, emergency response, disaster recovery and long-term mitigation activities. The goals of Critical Infrastructure Protection are more realistically set to minimize the consequences of a disaster through timely event notification, informationdriven responses, prepared first responders and citizens and pre-planned and rehearsed contingency activities. Federal, state and local officials have different roles in disaster response, homeland security and terrorism response situations. In natural disaster events, the federal government is responsible for early detection and
forecasting activities. Federal agencies including FEMA, USACE and USDOT assist state and local governments in response and recovery operations. For homeland security and terrorist threats, the federal government is responsible for the detection and prevention of terrorist attacks, while state and local groups carry out preparedness and response activities [ISPFS]. In order to be effective, disaster planning, response, recovery and mitigation activities must be fully integrated into “normal” planning and operational activities conducted in an interagency climate of cooperation and coordination. Disaster
The experience accumulated from the disasters of the past few years suggest that having the right information, in the right format, at the right time in the hands of the right people significantly reduces the consequences of disasters and accelerates the recovery process.
management represents a set of interdependent problems that require intensive communication and coordination among organizations and jurisdictions to reduce risk and losses [WGPR].
Sample CTI Disaster Information Needs 1. 2.
CTI baseline inventory and condition data. Remediation and contingency plans.
First responder data including who, what, where of the current situation to increase response efficiency and reduce property and casualty losses.
Current and predicted information about the specific event and its consequences.
Current and predicted at-risk element data including persons, property and other infra-
structure. Simple, clear, unambiguous information on the impact of the incident. That means preparing reports and maps which are legible, limited to essential data, and easy to understand [Murray].
Vulnerability analysis of intermodal transportation networks and other critical infrastructure [Tomisek]. Identification of ‘danger areas’ at the confluence of intermodal transportation means and critical infrastructure such as nuclear power generation facilities, chemical plants, etc [Tomisek].
Socioeconomic and demographic impacts. Where are people displaced and in what numbers? Where should displaced people go? [ISPFS]
10. Access to impacted areas [ISPFS]. 11. Thermal activity and displacement of the debris field [ISPFS].
Disaster Management Information Needs Understanding the potential risks and impacts of natural disasters requires sound knowledge concerning the features of the landscape, the patterns of human development, and a scientific understanding of natural disasters (wildfire, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, sea storms, avalanches, rapidly changing ocean conditions, and flooding) [WGPR]. Human-caused disasters require similar understanding of the geographic context surrounding the incident and additional scientific information specific to the disaster type (e.g., toxic plume formation and dispersal). Previous experience has shown that waiting until a disaster occurs to develop the baseline data, impact models, institutional interoperability strategies and communication protocols is an almost impossible task. This implies that transportation officials must identify and develop a core set of common data beforehand to be able to respond effectively. This also implies that disaster preparedness exercises simulating event response activities are critical to uncover and redress information needs, data and technical incompatibilities, institutional barriers and so on. Although each disaster is unique, common core information needs can be identified for a variety of CTI scenarios. More importantly, common approaches to quickly acquire additional data can be devised and tested during preparedness drills. The experience accumulated from the disasters of the past few years suggest that having the right information, in the right format, at the right time in the hands of the right people significantly reduces the consequences of disasters and accelerates the recovery process.
The Role of Geospatial Technology in Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection Remote Sensing Technology
Examples of CTI Damage Detected using Remote Sensing Data 1.
b. Debris Washed out and flooded highways, roads, streets
and rail lines Disrupted road, track and bridge surfaces
Remote sensing data — primarily satellite and/or airborne imagery (RS) — combined with Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies are critical components in federal, state, and local disaster services preparedness, detection, response, and recovery plans. These agencies have found RS/GIS invaluable in planning strategic responses, developing tactical response plans,
Obstructed highways, roads, streets and rail lines a. Trees, poles, wires
Collapsed or damaged elevated and subway structures
Oil and gas pipeline leaks and breaches
formulating and carrying out mitigation programs, and analyzing incident data for training and policy-making
processes [WGPA]. Remote Sensing and GIS make for quick and accurate map generation; and provide analytical capabilities not possible without these technologies during response and recovery operations as
cases there are no other alternatives. Disaster sites may be inaccessible to first responders and recovery forces
well [Bruzewicz] [ISPFS].
due to obstruction, hazardous conditions or their remote location, making on-the-ground observations difficult or
A new generation of public and commercial remote sensing platforms containing much higher spatial and
impossible. Additionally, significant events (e.g., earthquakes, tornadoes, explosions, and fires) may have
spectral resolution sensors has been deployed over the past five years. It is now possible to purchase wide-area, high-resolution satellite imagery that rivals intelligence
significantly changed the area making earlier RS/GIS data obsolete. In these situations, RS technologies may be the
data of a generation ago. While the details of these technologies are beyond the scope of this paper, trends toward lower cost and higher quality RS data are expected to continue for the near future. Of course, the ultimate question revolves around the question of adequacy. In other words, is RS/GIS data better (e.g., cheaper, more timely, more accurate) than other data sources in satisfying the information needs discussed earlier? This is a trick question since in many
Remote Sensing Data Types 1.
only source of up-to-date information. Remote Sensing Benefits The accumulated experiences of many governmental, academic and private organizations worldwide over the past 20 years of natural disaster forecasting, monitoring and management unambiguously indicates the value of RS/GIS. Although human-caused disasters are relatively new phenomena, many of the lessons learned are directly applicable to disasters affecting the CTI. There is no reason to believe that the benefits of RS/GIS would not apply to CTI oriented events as well. These benefits include:
Low cost, wide area “at-a-distance” data
Rich, interoperable, multi-purpose data Potential inputs into disaster simulation models [Liu]
data Aerial platforms (manned and unmanned)
Potential inputs into threat prediction models Identification of critical infrastructure elements
[Granzow] Rapid change detection data
Commercial, high resolution satellite imagery, including multi-spectral and hyperspectral
high-resolution color and BW photography hyperspectral imagery (e.g., AVIRIS)
c. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Fixed, Ground-based Sensors
Backdrop for other spatial data and analysis products [Bruzewicz]
Visualization for public information and policy briefings [Bruzewicz]
Surveillance CCT and video
Issues limiting the use of RS/GIS in disaster management
Geospatial data and technology has been used for disaster and emergency management activities worldwide for many years. In the United States, FEMA,
Unfortunately, there is a real possibility that these benefits may go unrealized because of existing barriers to
NASA USACE, DOE, numerous other Federal, State, and local agencies have active geospatial based disaster and
widespread acceptance and use. Satellites are not always ideally placed at the time of the disaster. In some
emergency management systems. Additionally, many universities offer professional development courses and
cases, core data and systems are unavailable. In others, Disaster Managers are unaware of the existence and
workshops on the application of geospatial technology to Disaster and Emergency Management [UWCDM]. Perhaps
utility of RS/GIS. If the data cannot be easily understood, processed, integrated and presented in a timely manner,
the starkest testimony regarding the value or GIS was realized in the immediate aftermath of the September 11
CTI Disaster Managers will find other alternatives. Moreover, if society prevents CTI Disaster Managers from
attacks where over 5000 maps and other geospatial products were produced. This experience and others
acquiring RS/GIS data for public policy reasons (e.g., cost, privacy, security), the benefits will also remain illusory.
have highlighted the following benefits of using GIS in the Disaster Management Cycle.
The following issues, if not resolved, may effectively limit the diffusion of RS data and technology into the CTI community.
Disasters typically engage many, if not most, governmental agencies with interests in the affected area. GIS provides a way for agencies to share
Useful data may not be available due to sampling limitations (e.g., periodicity, sensor type, cost).
operational data and to integrate event data using common locations. In many cases, positional data
Information latency or the time it takes from sampling to delivering information products is
regarding debris and damage is collected using GPS. Most of the information requirements for disaster are spatial and can be presented on maps. Geospatial
unacceptable. Transforming RS data into useful information often requires expertise that is not readily accessible
technologies can rapidly combine map data with RS and on-site data creating special-purpose
[ISPFS]. Well understood and pre-planned information needs
information products. Proximity analysis is a standard GIS function. This
are not available. Citizens and businesses have privacy concerns
capability is used for in disaster planning preparedness, response and recovery operations to
concerning high-resolution data. CTI information is highly sensitive and may create
determine how features are related to each other. For example, to determine how many people live in
security and access restrictions. RS/GIS is a high-tech solution for a low-tech
the path of a wildfire, where the evacuation routes are, where fire fighting resources are positioned
community, often resistant to such approaches. Lack of interoperability between different data sets
relative to the fire, what other infrastructures may be threatened by the fire and so on.
[ISPFS]. Data collection can be adversely affected by time of
Network analysis (e.g., shortest path) is also a standard GIS function and is used to plan and
day, weather and cloud cover [ISPFS]. 10. Difficulty with interagency communication,
manage evacuations, assess the effects on the loss of one or more transportation links, dispatch of 5.
cooperation and coordination including technology incompatibilities [ISPFS].
emergency personnel and equipment. Automated Vehicle Locators (AVL) can be used to
Perhaps the largest issues limiting the widespread
locate and track in real-time, the positions of first responder units, many times in conjunction with
adoption of RS/GIS tools and data arise from institutional and organizational factors. There is a wide gap between
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems. Geospatial data bases are the source of data used in
the geospatial, first responder and transportation communities because of differing missions, perspectives
various disaster modeling and simulation packages. Conversely, GIS display and mapping tools can be
and priorities. For example, new disaster oriented tools and data must compete for scarce resources in
used to present modeling and simulation results.
transportation organizations whose higher priority is
routine construction and maintenance. Conversely, first
responders are much more interested in tactical mobile technologies such as cell phones, than in geospatial ones, which are more strategic. And finally, the geospatial profession is focused on spatial analysis often without sufficient understanding of the problem domains at which their tools are targeted.
methodology and statistical measures for analysis of risk and vulnerability of the CTI [Husdal]. 3.
understandings promoting shared interests in the CTI.
Potential Role of the National Consortia for Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST) Although the NCRST consortia have been conducting various basic and applied research projects for the past two years, there has not been an emphasis on CTI.
Develop methods and standards for communicating and visualizing risk and vulnerability of the CTI [Husdal]. Develop a spatial framework, a systematic methodology and statistical measures for the determination of disaster consequences.
The challenge then, is to envelop critical CTIP processes, data and technology into the ongoing operational missions of these organizations and also to create new
Develop a spatial framework, a systematic
Develop change detection methods and tracking mechanisms for specific disaster types (e.g., terrorist
attack). Develop RS/GIS based models of critical
infrastructure interdependencies. Develop rapid deployment RS/GIS data collection technologies such as fixed tethered balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor rapidly changing disaster conditions (e.g., spatial extent of disaster area, toxic plumes, fire propagation, flooding, evacuations and population displacements).
However, the basic experience gained in RS/GIS technology and transportation issues positions them to
refocus on CTI issues. The following project concepts are proposed to direct the
The unfortunate short-term reality facing the CTI is that the country cannot protect all of its critical transportation facilities all of the time. A more realistic although still
attention of NCRST participants and to provide a foundation for commercial firms in product development.
challenging goal, as expressed by Presidential Decision Directive 63: Critical Infrastructure Protection, is to ensure
Coordination, Cooperation and Support Program
that disruptions are “brief, infrequent, manageable, geographically isolated, and minimally detrimental” to
Prototype RS/GIS applications for disaster
national welfare. This goal needs to be met cooperatively by Federal, State and local agencies working in concert with the private sector.
management. Expose the Transportation, Disaster Management and First Responder communities to RS/GIS technology and techniques common to all three groups.
Having the right information and more importantly, getting it to the right people is an essential strategy in
Develop information use scenarios, including roles, responsibilities and information flows, incorporating
achieving this goal. Information is key, and geospatial information particularly so. However, we cannot always
the role of new technologies, e.g. GPS, wireless communication devices.
predict specific information needs in advance. One idealistic approach to this dilemma is to try to collect and
Develop cost and benefit models, and demonstration projects in cooperation with high profile jurisdictions
share all possible information on everything, and to update it constantly. However, the realities of tight
(e.g. Los Angeles).
budgets, competing priorities and jurisdictional barriers preclude this.
Basic and Applied Research Program A more achievable approach is to define and maintain a 1.
Develop a theoretical framework linking disaster type with specific information needs and RS data sources
core set of geospatial information, defined and managed cooperatively and augmented with contingency plans
encompassing the Disaster Management Functional Cycle (i.e., planning, response, recovery and
allowing for the rapid acquisition of new information as necessary. Geospatial information technologies allow
Homeland Security officials to better assess vulnerability,
to allocate mitigation resources based on vulnerability, to
rapidly deploy emergency forces to reconstitute transportation services and to communicate effectively
[Banger] Banger, Samir Kumar, “Remote Sensing and
with each other, the media and other interested persons. These essential objectives cannot be achieved without significant investments in data, technology and training activities. Officials coping with rapidly unfolding
Geographical Information System for Natural Disaster Management,” http://www.gisdevelopment.net [Bruzewicz] Bruzewicz, Andrew J. and McKim, Harlan L. “Remote
emergencies, disasters and attacks do not have time to gather new baseline data or to deploy untested
sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) for emergency
Federal Perspective, 1994, pp. 161-164. 9.
Proper management of the nation’s considerable Homeland Security budget demands that we invest a
[BTS] “National Transportation Statistics 2000,” Bureau of
management: effective implementation” GIS in Government, the
small amount now to determine which data and technologies will be of the most benefit in the future.
[Everett] On-line contribution from Michael Everett, Manager,
Preparedness depends on having the right technical
Homeland Defense, Wargaming, Education, & Training BoeingAutometric. March 2002.
Critical Infrastructure Protection
[Granzow] On-line contribution from Ed Granzow, Senior Planner, CH2M Hill. March 2002.
Assess CTI vulnerabilities to cyber or physical attacks.
Develop plans to eliminate significant vulnerabilities.
Propose systems for identifying and preventing attempted major attacks.
[ISPFS] Report by the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on
Develop plans for alerting, containing and rebuffing attacks in progress.
Assessment of Remote Sensing Data Use by Civilian Federal
Rapidly reconstitute minimum essential capabilities in the aftermath of an attack. PDD 63
resources and, more crucially, on having Disaster Management professionals aware of these tools, knowledgeable in their use and convinced of their value. Again, relatively small investments now in establishing
[Husdal] “Analyzing risk and vulnerability of transportation lifelines” http://www.husdal.com/gis/risktrans.htm#2
International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services On Agencies December 10, 2001. http://dir.yahoo.com/ Society_and_Culture/Environment_and_Nature/Disasters/ [Johnson] Johnson, Russ, “GIS Technology for Disasters and Emergency Management,” ESRI White Paper, ESRI, Redlands, CA. May 2000. [Liu] On-line contribution from Cheng Liu, Transportation Analyst, Center for Transportation Analysis, ORNL. March 2002. [Murray] On-line contribution from John Murray, Chief, Informa-
operational ties between transportation, first responder and technology organizations are a prudent and
tion and Planning, FEMA. March 2002.
[Tomisek] On-line contribution from Steven Tomisek, Senior Military Fellow, Institute of National Strategic Studies. March 2002.
The underlying principle of the CIP research agenda is to foster a new partnership between the geospatial and disaster communities. The NCRST Consortia are uniquely positioned to provide the bridge spanning the technology
[UWDMC] “Damage and Needs Assessment,” Lesson 5 Assessment Tools and Techniques.” On-line course. May 1995. http:// dmc.engr.wisc.edu/courses/assessment/BB06-05.html
divide between RS/GIS tools and their ultimate users. [WGAPR] Western Governors’ Association Policy Resolution 00 – 034 Utility and Use of GIS and Remote Sensing Technologies To Support Disaster Services Role at the Local, State and Federal Level, December 1, 2000. http://www.westgov.org/wga/policy/ 00/00034.pdf
Infrastructure Management University of California, Santa Barbara University of Wisconsin-Madison Iowa State University University of Florida Digital Geographic Research Corporation Geographic Paradigm Computing Inc