UICDS Update Newsletter Masthead
UICDS keeps you better informed so you can make better decisions.  UICDS is information sharing middleware for NIMS incident management that continuously receives and shares standardized data among many agencies during an incident.   Your everyday application gets from UICDS exactly the data you need to use, visualize, process, improve, decide, and then share back through UICDS to keep everyone informed.


Because UICDS is middleware, there is no new user interface to learn, no cost to obtain it, and you retain complete control over your data.  You get notified when an agency has provided new or updated incident data and you share your data with whom you want instantaneously and in the background without any disruption to your operation.


With UICDS you are better informed, your partners are better informed, and together you all make better response decisions.



UICDS The Movie 

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Get UICDS Free from the Department of Homeland Security 

Apply to be a UICDS Pilot and get your own complete UICDS installation, including support, to improve your information sharing.  Make your request now.

Learn All About UICDS Interoperability Middleware in Just Two Minutes
Your time is valuable, so here it is in a nutshell.
UICDS is middleware to share information among applications used by all levels of government and critical infrastructure to manageincidents.   UICDS has no end-user interface, so there is no training or new applications to buy. 
You should care about UICDS if you manage emergencies or provide technologies to those who manage emergencies.

Click here for a two minute video introduction of UICDS from the UICDS.us website.


Follow UICDS on LinkedIn 
UICDS is now on LinkedIn, the premier business-related social networking site.  The site is self-described as the "unofficial UICDS discussion group" among Technology Providers and End-Users.

To join  the discussion group, View our profile on LinkedIn


UICDS Quick Links


UICDS Contacts

General Information 

DHS S&T Program Manager 
Michael B. Smith
Email Now 
DHS S&T Program Support
Tomi` Finkle
Email Now 
UICDS Project Manager
Chip Mahoney
Email Now 

UICDS Outreach Director
James W. Morentz, Ph.D.
Email Now

UICDS™ is a Trademark of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 


UICDS Update Archives Link

Link to the UICDS Update Archives 


UICDS Update
An Information Sharing Technology Program from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate


November 29, 2011

In this issue ... 
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topA Review and Analysis of Standards Used in UICDS is Topic for December 1 Biweekly Call and Tutorial at Noon


As part of its work on the Maritime Security Technology Pilot (MSTP) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, SRI International (SRI) has analyzed the standards relationship between its Smart Integration Manager Ontologically Networked (SIMON) and Unified Incident Command and Decision Support (UICDS).  The study focused on 14 architectural standards, two schema types, and two transport protocols and their utility for emergency management information sharing.  


The study hypothesized that, "SIMON and UICDS platforms are believed to represent a comprehensive collection of standards relevant to information gathering and sharing, as well as to interoperability."  Such standards are "vital to information sharing and interoperation across jurisdictional lines." 


According to the report, which will be summarized by Shane Mason and the team from SRI, "We first present background information on the use and types of standards. Then, we describe both SIMON and UICDS to create a basis of understanding for the use of standards in the development and design cycle of the two platforms. In describing each platform, we distinguish between platform and system. When necessary, we describe components, such as services, in detail to provide information about the use and incorporation of particular standards. We then present a use case describing potential integration between specific system instantiations of each platform as a basis for assessing the risk of such integration." 


So join us on the UICDS Biweekly Call and Tutorial to hear, learn, and contribute.


To join the tutorial and our biweekly call:


Call 800-366-7242 and use code 735108 at noon ET.


Web Collaboration: www.saic.com/customer/datax/

Conference Reference: 601203   

Attendee PIN:  1143

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appleApple« App Store Approves UICDS Mobile App for Apple« iPad« and iPhone«  


We are pleased to announce that Apple« has approved the UICDS Mobile App for distribution on the Apple App Store. The UICDS Mobile App is available immediately for download at no cost on the App Store.


iPad Mobile App
The UICDS iPad App bring EOC knowledge to your fingertips.
The iPad and iPhone mobile apps are derived from the same example code which is available for download by registered UICDS Technology Providers.  The mobile app, as seen in the illustration, provides the following capabilities:
  • The base display is a map centered on your current location showing Incidents and Alerts
  • Display list of Incidents and Alerts independently
  • Display text description (contained in a UICDS Work Product) of any Incident or Alert
  • Highlight an Incident or Alert shown on the map and see brief summary information in a pop-up box
  • Display selected Incidents or Alerts on a map from the list
  • Display polygon graphics associated with a CAP Alert on the map
  • Display Open Geospatial Consortium standard Web Mapping Service map overlays associated with an Incident on the map

Point your iPhone or iPad at the Apple App Store to download the UICDS Mobile App.

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palmettoState of South Carolina Palmetto Vision UICDS Implementation Featured in Southeast Regional HILFLD Webinar 


The Palmetto Vision project being undertaken by the State Palmetto Vision
of South Carolina is in the process of linking the state with counties in an impressive application of innovative technologies.  This includes the most extensive UICDS Pilot consisting of 30 UICDS Cores installed in county emergency management agencies. The prime contractor for Palmetto Vision is Earth Technology Integration, Inc.


UICDS serves as the middleware to provide information sharing among WebEOC in each county, IPAWS alert message origination applications in each county, and Virtual USA used as a directory to GIS and other non-spatial data in a handful of counties.  Multiple exercises and demonstrations have occurred.  The operational testing stage continues over the next six weeks with full operational status for the initial phase in the coming year.   


The Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (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. Maintaining this original 

purpose, the HIFLD Working Group has attracted a voluntary coalition of Federal, state, and local government organizations and supporting private industry partners who are involved with geospatial issues related to Homeland Defense (HD), Homeland Security (HLS), Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R), or Civil Support (CS). Within these broad mission areas, the HIFLD members and non-federal contributors are involved in a wide range of different functions including: Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), Crisis and Consequence Management, Intelligence and Threat Analysis, Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP), Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA), Man-Made and Natural Hazard Modeling, and Government Facilities Management. 


The Southeast Regional HIFLD Working Group recently held a webinar which featured an in-depth report on the Palmetto Vision use of UICDS.  You can view the HIFLD webinar on Palmetto Vision.  Note that the UICDS part of the webinar starts at 24 minutes. 

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secondResource Typing - Furthering the Discussion Tutorial is Now Available on UICDS.us Collaboration Portal  

Resource Typing and the UICDS resource schema have been important discussions recently.  The latest round is now available on the UICDS Collaboration Portal.  This includes:    

  • LTC Fritz Krauss, Ph.D., California National Guard, Director J5/7, who described the Civil Support Task List (CSTL)
  • David Blakeman and Charlene Duncans, Preparedness-Technology, Analysis, and Coordination (P-TAC) Center, who talked about the Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS)
  • Aaron Lieb, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) who updated us on lessons learned from the resource schema discussions of the previous UICDS call

Civil Support Task List

The Civil Support Task List is a collaborative effort from many states and agencies to generate a common taxonomy and lexicon that allows the military to reframe our existing warfighting capabilities into emergency response capabilities in a way consistent with the National Response Framework. Most agencies that are not primarily emergency response agencies either have or will face questions surrounding how to reframe what they do all the time and understand in their own vernacular into a useful capability that can be seamlessly integrated into a coordinated response under the direction of the Incident Commander.


The complexity for the CSTL was compounded by the different terms, references, policies and capabilities generated by the different armed services, but the success of the project is attributed directly to the willingness of most of the states and over 100 different agencies to meet in the middle and build the bridging structure to support the ability of the military to respond when needed with the right capabilities.


Incident Resource Inventory System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate (NPD) provides a "no cost" resource inventory tool. The Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) is developed and maintained by the Preparedness-Technology, Analysis, and Coordination (P-TAC) Center and allows response officials to enter typed and non-typed resources into a database and to search/identify specific resources for incident operations and mutual aid purposes. 


IRIS features the capability for users to inventory resources and share resource information with other agencies. Furthermore, users are able to define non-typed resources and select specific resources for mutual aid purposes based upon mission requirements, the capability and availability of resources, and desired response times. 


Exploring Best Practices in Cross-Resource Typing Sharing Through a Common Schema

We had a very lively discussion led by Aaron Lieb of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), on resource schemas.  This led to some innovative thinking about how UICDS can help bring about cross-typing sharing of resource types through its schema.  The concept is one in harmony with all the UICDS goals:  establish a common exchange framework among disparate content.  In this case, we explored the concept of creating a best practice for sharing resources of different typing structures by creating a mapping among typing structures.  The idea has a long way to go, but once there is a consistent resource schema that references multiple resource typings, then the next logical step is to map across typing structures.  The lessons provided by CSTL certainly speak to the possible success of this approach.  


View the Resource Typing Discussion Tutorial

This UICDS Tutorial and Biweekly Call is now available on the UICDS Collaboration Portal for you to see and hear the video recorded discussion on Resource Typing and Schema┬ Best Practices.  

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thirdLooking Ahead - More Great UICDS Tutorials Coming Up This Winter 


Put these dates and topics on your calendar.  You won't want to miss these excellent discussions from some of the best experts in the field of information sharing and interoperability.  


December 15:  Pandemic Decision-Support with UICDS


Robert Kelly of the University of Louisville will discuss the use of UICDS in the Real-time Decision Support System (RTDSS) for Healthcare and Public Health Sector Protection.  The project is a collaboration among several universities in Kentucky and Missouri with the support of the National Institute for Hometown Security and DHS Directorate of Science and Technology.  The goal of the project is to develop a decision support system to provide pandemic response staff decision support tools to assist them with managing the response.  The RTDSS consists of three primary components, the Pandemic Decision Support System (PanDSS), a Unified Incident Command and Decision Support (UICDS) core, and third-party data sources.   Complex interactions among hospital applications can be conducted through UICDS including multiple distributed applications that update a work product and notification services in which various systems are notified when changes to a work product have occurred. Rob Kelley recently presented the results of this work to the First International Workshop on Healthcare Systems Engineering in Beijing, China.


January 12:  A Framework for Interoperability


John Contestible of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory explores why information sharing is important to successfully dealing with large scale events and how a lack of public safety communications systems interoperability is a major impediment. It describes how a conceptual framework of information layers (i.e. the Data, Integration and Presentation layers) is useful to developing solutions to the lack of interoperability. He further describes a concept of operations whereby Integration layer applications can form the core of a "Common Operating Picture" which can provide information to field personnel at the scene of an incident as well as the public. An inducement for jurisdictions to participate in such an information sharing framework is that they can gain access to wide array of information to which they would otherwise not be entitled and they can reduce the overall cost of such systems by sharing the infrastructure and system expenses across the regional partners.

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appcodeUICDS Mobile App Example Code Available for Android« and Apple« 


Just as we have provided lots of example code for web application developers to download and make their own, we also have example code for Android phones and Apple iPad and iPhone.  Download requires access credentials that were provided for those who have received the UICDS Core Development Kit.  If you do not have credentials, you can request access by linking to either Request the UICDS Development Kit or Apply to be a UICDS Pilot, depending on your circumstance.


Use your access credentials to download the Android Example Code.  


Use you access credentials to download the iPad and iPhone App Example Code.


If you missed the live presentation on both Android and Apple UICDS Mobile Apps, you can tune into the UICDS Collaboration Portal (www.UICDS.usat any time to hear these informative discussions.  You can also directly View the Android Tutorial or View the iPad and iPhone Tutorial.  

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pilotBecome a UICDS Pilot - Yours from DHS 

Tired of watching and want to get involved?  Are you a government agency that knows you shoud share information better?  Critical infrastructure owner/operator in need of coordination with governments?  Technology provider who wants to better serve emergency management and response organizations? 

It is time to become a UICDS Pilot.  A answer a few questions to apply to be a UICDS Pilot. 
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TechnologyProvidersUse the UICDS Development Kit To Win Contracts that Require UICDS Compliance 
Recently, the State of California and the State of West Virginia both issued requests for proposals that called for UICDS compliance as a condition of the contract.  Feeling left behind?
Now there is a guide to what it means to "comply" with UICDS.  Get the new  UICDS Compliance Overview report to see the details.  And you can see and listen to the UICDS Compliance Tutorial about compliance with UICDS v 1.1.1 on the UICDS Collaboration Portal.   
If this is you ... and you don't want to be excluded from future bids ... just answer a few questions to get the UICDS Development Kit and example code to build your UICDS Adapter today.  Get started by clicking here.
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Tutorial and Biweekly  

Call ... 
Don't forget to join us every other Thursday at noon for the UICDS Tutorial and "Open Mic" call.  Join Technology Providers and End-Users who discuss all the value they get - and sometimes the problems they have - in getting UICDS implemented in an area.  This is the frank, no-holds-barred discussion to help get everyone operating better and at lower cost in time and money than they probably could do alone.  Nobody who participates walks away without a tip, an idea, or a good sense of how to proceed with UICDS information sharing.  

Call 1-800-366-7242 code 735108 at noon ET every other Thursday. 

 Check the UICDS Calendar for the exact date.