Course Objectives

This course provides an explanation of how geospatial professionals use the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) Geospatial Concept of Operations (GeoCONOPS). At the end of this course you will be able to:
  1. Describe how the GeoCONOPS can be used to find geospatial resources including stakeholders, GeoData, capabilities, tradecraft, and best practices.
  2. Describe how the GeoCONOPS can be used to find real-world emergency scenarios to help geospatial professionals.
  3. Describe how the GeoCONOPS supports the PPD-8 mission areas.

Course Overview

This course explains how geospatial practitioners, incident commanders, and decision makers can leverage the GeoCONOPS to discover and deploy geospatial information, capabilities, tradecraft, and best practices to support Homeland Security missions and National Preparedness via systematic preparation for threats that pose the greatest risk to the U.S. – including acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. This course will explain how geospatial professionals can use the GeoCONOPS for Staffing, and linkage to Standard Operating Guidance (SOG), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and data resources for:

  • Finding content experts and contacts
  • Obtaining geospatial data
  • Locating geospatial capabilities and tradecraft
  • Planning for real-world emergency events
  • Supporting the PPD-8 mission areas

What is the foundation of the HSE GeoCONOPS?

The GeoCONOPS has been adopted into federal doctrine through its inclusion in the National Preparedness Goal (PPD-8). This adoption broadens access and visibility of the GeoCONOPS effort by other missions using geospatial information for decision support.

Decision support, enabled by geospatial capabilities, allows situational awareness for understanding location, context, and inter-dependencies necessary for effective integration and information sharing to prepare for specific types of incidents that pose the greatest risk to the nation’s security. 

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides ways to access resources to support geospatial missions affecting Homeland Security and National Preparedness.

  • Stakeholders: Identify stakeholders across all levels of government, supporting homeland security and PPD-8
  • GeoData: Search and discover geospatial data and products available to your mission
  • Capabilities: Find geospatial capabilities to aid in mission planning, rehearsal, and execution Tradecraft: Access training, operating procedures, templates, and other resources
  • Best Practices: Discover methods and innovative practices for improving geospatial mission support
  • Scenarios: View real-world scenarios to help users understand what geospatial support is needed during events such as earthquakes, tropical storms, and law enforcement emergencies

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to find geospatial stakeholders
Stakeholders are the organizations that are actively developing and applying geospatial technology, in authoritative and supportive roles, to the Homeland Security and National Preparedness mission areas. They are the key groups that can provide shared knowledge and expertise to geospatial users.

Stakeholders for the GeoCONOPS include members for the GeoCONOPS Interagency Oversight Team (GIOT), which provides guidance to the evolution and enhancement of the GeoCONOPS. GIOT organizations are mandated through their authorizing legislation, or charters, to support the Homeland Security mission areas, and to safeguard the nation from a range of threats. Other organizations are included for their general utility to the community.

For more information on interagency oversight: https://cms.geoplatform.gov/geoconops/about[cms.geoplatform.gov]

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a reference for trusted geospatial data sources
Data quality drives the overall value and relevance of any geospatial product. Without valid authoritative sources and core standards for data management, the investment in hardware, software, and labor can be immediately undermined.

The GeoCONOPS supplies ways to access geospatial data portals, web mapping services, downloadable shapefiles, imagery, and other data types needed to support the mission. Users can filter data by category, agency, or permissions. A full-text search is also available.

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to find geospatial capabilities
Data quality drives the overall value and relevance of any geospatial product. Without valid authoritative sources and core standards for data management, the investment in hardware, software, and labor can be immediately undermined.

Capabilities include specific technical tools, models, and applications useful in satisfying requirements in the Homeland Security and National Preparedness mission areas. These tools help to codify methods and best practices in a repeatable and shareable format for broader use and systematic refinement. They may be established and authoritative, or experimental and each should be assessed for suitability on a case-by-case basis.

Users are able to search for capabilities based on agency or through a full-text search.

Examples of the capabilities listed in the GeoCONOPS include the DHS Common Operating Picture (COP), the USGS National Map, Census GeoCoder, and NOAA’s Geo-Targeted Alerting System.

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to find geospatial tradecraft
Supportive geospatial tradecraft is used to enhance geospatial professionalism within the Homeland Security Enterprise and National Preparedness mission areas. The section provides the community ways to access training courses, templates, job aids, and other products to support the development and maturation of geospatial units and to provide general information on geospatial capabilities at a strategic, operational, and tactical level.

Users are able to search for capabilities based on agency or through a full-text search.

Examples of the tradecraft listed in the GeoCONOPS include Open Geospatial Consortium Standards, HUD Disaster Resources, and the VA’s Veterans Choice Locator.

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to find geospatial best practices
Geospatial best practices represent methodologies, techniques, or procedures that are widely recognized as the path most likely to ensure success. Best practices are derived through retrospective analysis of events and actions and are often the result of numerous case studies, establishing their applicability and utility. Best practices are conceptualized to allow the reader to adapt them to their organization and operations. They are used to support planning and the development of standard operating procedures and can be supported through case studies.

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to find geospatial scenarios
Real-world scenarios are to assist geospatial users in planning and preparing for potential disasters that would affect the homeland whether they be natural or manmade. The GeoCONOPS provides different scenarios on law enforcement events, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

How does the GeoCONOPS support geospatial professionals?

The GeoCONOPS provides a source to guide through the PPD-Mission Areas:
Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, Recover
The Department of Homeland Security helps to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to prepare for threats that pose the highest risk to the security of the Nation including cyber-attacks, pandemics, catastrophic natural disasters, and acts of terrorism. At its core, Presidential Policy Directive-8 (PPD-8) requires the involvement of everyone in a systematic effort to keep the nation safe from such threats. The GeoCONOPS filters and ranks the available resources for the five PPD-8 Mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, Recover) allowing for users supporting these missions to locate the resources best suited for their cause. If a group who submits resource content to the GeoCONOPS thinks their information is important to a mission, it is important to contact the team and provide feedback so that the content can be filtered and ranked accordingly.

How do the GeoCONOPS support geospatial decision makers and incident commanders?

Geospatial capabilities play a significant role in incident management and decision making. Its uses today include disaster early warning and mitigation, border monitoring, criminal investigations, public health protection, and critical infrastructure oversight.

The GeoCONOPS helps these leaders better understand the potential for geospatial resources in the respective disciplines prior to response mode. It allows them to work with their GIS practitioners to define requirements and plan development of geospatial capability. Examples of resources to assist incident commanders and decision makers include various best practices, the NAPSG Capability and Readiness Assessment Tool (CARAT), the DHS Geospatial Information Infrastructure (GII), and the FEMA GeoPlatform.

How does the GeoCONOPS support incident commanders?

The GeoCONOPS provides a template for developing operational plans

The GeoCONOPS can be used as a template for developing standard operational guidance documents. For example, the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) has developed Standard Operating Guidance (SOG) that aligns with and supports the GeoCONOPS. The SOG is available on the NAPSG website at www.napsgfoundation.org.

GeoCONOPS In Use: Summary

The GeoCONOPS effort has been undertaken by the geospatial community to address requirements to support Homeland Security missions and National Preparedness. It is meant to provide ways to access stakeholders, geodata, capabilities, tradecraft, best practices, and scenarios to the geospatial professionals further enabling them to do their work in the best and most efficient manner. The GeoCONOPS also helps users support the PPD-8 mission areas.

Visit the GeoCONOPS website at https://cms.geoplatform.gov/geoconops-home