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Homeland Security Cloud Adds Breakthrough Mapping Technology

Cloud computing users now able to access and combine geo-spatial data from NOAA, NASA, USGS

NC4 Inc., a provider of Situational Readiness solutions, announced on Friday the Universal Console(UC) - a foundation technology that enables users of NC4's Homeland Security Cloud universal GIS access. Previously vast amounts of all-hazards mapping and GIS data has been accessible via the Internet, but locked into specific applications often with different underlying mapping technology. NC4's Universal Console now lets Homeland Security Cloud users unlock the wealth of GIS information by supporting a wide variety of base maps and file formats.

The NC4 Universal Console allows users to unlock disparate GIS information from both public and private clouds. Public cloud information could include fire and hotspot information, hurricane and weather information and earthquake information. Private commercial cloud information could include Situational Awareness and Emergency/Incident Management information from NC4's Homeland Security Cloud. Private internal cloud information could include geo-referenced links to Web-based security cameras, internal incident information and other sensitive GIS data.

An additional important function that Universal Console now enables is the ability for non-technical users to easily combine disparate geo-spatial information from multiple cloud-based sources. For example, a community of users could all view a common operational picture which includes incident and resource management information (from NC4's E Team Application), all-hazards, global incident information (from NC4's Situational Awareness solution), animated weather radar and hurricane tracks (NOAA), active fire maps (NASA/MODIS) and live USGS earthquake feeds all combined on a dynamic map display.

Technology
ESRI's ArcGIS Server is the primary mapping technology supported by Universal Console, with other mapping technologies utilizing the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards also supported. The unique architecture of the NC4 UC allows for base maps and map layers residing in the public cloud in standard formats to be combined with proprietary maps and map layer data in private cloud infrastructure.

"Web 2.0 technology has expanded the GIS frontier," said Russ Johnson, Director of Public Safety for ESRI. "ArcGIS Server and its ability to consume as well as deliver content in a variety of formats is enabling more and more new web-based GIS applications to be used in a federated manner. NC4's Universal Console is an example of the capability of fusing the wealth of GIS information that is readily available, bringing users dynamic maps to heighten their overall situational awareness."

UC's support of ESRI's ArcGIS Server allows users to leverage the most powerful and widely used GIS software in both the public and private sector. UC allows customers to leverage their investments in base maps and map layers that have been created utilizing the ArcGIS Server tools, while allowing the user to easily add map layers in a wide range of formats including the OGC standards of Web Mapping Service (WMS), GeoRSS, and KML.

Universal Console is a Web browser-based application that requires no plug-ins and no local installation and works across all major browsers including MS Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. The NC4 Universal Console is a foundation technology of the Homeland Security Cloud, bringing the promise of reliability and availability of services, in addition to lowering the cost and complexity of computing. The technology infrastructure and applications of the NC4 Homeland Security Cloud have been proven in actual operation by more than 80,000 discerning federal, state and local users who view application, network and data security as paramount.

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