The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For Proposals


As San Diegans we sometimes view Los Angeles as a bigger, more pushy, older brother. We are buffered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, Anza-Borrego National Park and Camp Pendleton on the south, west, east and north, respectively. These buffers will keep San Diego a unique destination for residents and vacationers alike. This being said, we should do everything we can to learn from our larger neighbors.

The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for GIS Consulting Services for their Harbor Police Department. A consultant will be selected around May 2009. As you might imagine, at the Port of San Diego GIS department, we are very interested in their choices and progress. They are working hard to accomplish many goals similar to ours. Not only are we in the same industry, but we both work with similar environmental laws, financial constraints and weather which effect the state of California and our region.

For Example, both Ports are working to bring Engineering drawings into GIS to be shared with their respective Harbor Police Departments. If you are a regular reader of %scratchworkspace%, you are familiar with the Port of San Diego GIS departments work with Jerry Wallenborn from Halcrow to bring our utilities data (currently only accessible through our engineers, surveyors and architects) and project closeout PDFs to every internal computer at the Port of San Diego, including the Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) in the patrol cars.

Much of the funding for these types of endeavors comes through the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). We are classified as a Group 2 Port, while the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together are classified in Group 1. Under this program, they receive about 10 times the funding we do.

Before the RFP was released in December, POLA released a GIS Strategy Project, written by NorthSouth GIS LLC, which detailed specific steps to bring a world class GIS program to the POLA Port Police and POLA as a whole. This 67-page document was very well thought out and in-tune with today’s thinking in the GIS, Information Services (IS) and IT communities. This document details required skills for positions to fill, how to leverage current systems, what type of servers to purchase, software vendors to use and a myriad of other strategy implementation specifics. I found myself saying “right on” out-loud more than once while reading this document. Many of these concepts directly apply to our GIS goals at the Port of San Diego. Below are some of the quotes I circled.

From POLA Port Police GIS Strategy Project (January 2008)
Executive Summary p4
“Accurate, timely and complete geographic information improves emergency response time: The primary need for GIS within Port Police is to provide accurate and timely information to officers in the office and in the field. GIS should help answer key questions of: “Where am I?”, “How do I gain access to this facility?”, “Who is the tenant and how do I make contact?”, or “Are there hazardous materials or circumstances at this location that I should be aware of?” GIS reduces the time needed to respond to a call for service.”

Needs Assessment- Systems Integration- Software Applications p12
“GIS implementation often relies heavily on a GIS analyst to provide products (typically maps and reports) on behalf of clients, which becomes a bottleneck in operations. The judicious building of a specific software application that provides specific search query and analysis tools, coupled with customized reports and map templates, can deliver powerful capabilities directly to users. This not only removes the human bottleneck, but permits users to make many more requests than would be feasible through a human agent, and in police work this can be a crucial freedom.”

Recommendations – A Vision P14
“Successful GIS implementation at Port Police will not be possible without senior management commitment to the project, including acceptance of the proposed strategy supported by way of financial investment and commitment to the proposed organizational structure.”

Recommendations –Implementation-Create a training program p17
“While GIS implementation is focused on data, it is possible for most Port Police to “experience” GIS through other systems that consume this data, like CAD. Similarly, if most applications development is Web based, then very limited training may need to be provided.”

Recommendations-Infrastructure-Software Applications-Support COTS First, Provide Access Second, Custom Applications Last p35
“CAD/RMS and Integrated Command are examples of systems already being funded, which rely on GIS data. It would be a missed opportunity to let the vendors provide their own data, in a manner that would not benefit the broader GIS effort. Conversely, this could be an opportunity to push GIS development forward (and get funding), and also to be in the driver’s seat for the data that will be provided to those systems.”

Recommendations-Software Applications-Prioritize Applications that Benefit Most from Spatial Analysis and Integration p37
“GIS is a technology capable of managing and displaying geographic information, but also of analyzing this information and integrating it with other systems and types of information. Whilst GIS is most critical in the initial phase for supplying up-to-date data to other systems, such as CAD/RMS and Integrated Command Console, over time GIS will find utility in supplying capabilities that other systems are incapable of supplying. One of GIS’s particular strengths is in bringing together data that would be difficult or impossible to integrate, by using the spatial element of the data. It will be at this stage that GIS will gain particular visibility at Port Police – until then it may be limited to a supporting role.”

Interview Summaries w/ Director of Real Estate p61
“It is perceived there is a need for a GIS division within the Harbor Department.”

From POLA Port Police GIS Consulting Services RFP (December 2008)
Project Description-Project Goals and Objectives p8
“The Port Police desires that a number of data sources external to the Harbor Department be able to “stream” data into its GIS, and into other systems, such as the Integrated Command Console. Such data sources include a variety of vehicle, vessel, and cargo tracking systems. The Port Police seeks to leverage Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), so that the data streams are able to be “plugged into” a variety of client applications. To easily accomplish such use of these data streams, an architecture should be designed that permits different data streams types to be funneled into a uniform format that can then be consumed by any system capable of understanding such data streams.”

We have been in contact with POLA’s Project Manager for the POLA RFP. She has kept us informed of her progress and we are excited to follow, learn and collaborate.

If you would like to view these documents you can borrow the hard copy I have printed out for my files or click the links below. They have also been uploaded into our Docs Management System at the Document Numbers below.


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6 Responses to “The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For Proposals”

  1. News about Real Estate Investments » Archive » The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For Proposals Says:

    […] %scratchworkspace% created an interesting post today on The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For ProposalsHere’s a short outlineInterview Summaries w/ Director of Real Estate p61 “It is perceived there is a need for a GIS division within the Harbor Department…. […]

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    […] Spudart: Thoughts Blog added an interesting post today on The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For ProposalsHere’s a small readingThe Port Police seeks to leverage Services Oriented BArchitecture/B (SOA), so that the data streams are able to be “plugged into” a variety… […]

  3. Ari Isaak Says:

    Interesting to read your reactions to the Port of LA GIS RFP today. Thank you for the kind words and quotations! Nice to be recognized.

    Daniel Elroi
    NorthSouthGIS LLC

  4. Henry D. Antes, PSM Says:

    Sound approach, for additional read on my experiences with similar projects at Walt Disney World in Orlando, go to Business News Publishing web site (POB).

    : GIS Shaping the future of Walt Disney World.

    This was a two year base mapping program of 32 square mile, highly developed area in Orlando, Florida.

  5. Henry D. Antes, PSM Says:

    Henry D. Antes, PA
    Consulting Project Management
    Civil Engineering and Land Surveying

    1178 S. Westlake Blvd. Suite F
    Westlake Village, CA 91361-1919
    (805) 660-2855

  6. Ari Isaak Says:

    Reprinted from the Port of Los Angeles Website:
    “SUMMARY: The Information Technology and Port Police Divisions request that the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners (Board) award an agreement to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to develop the Integrated Command Console System (ICC) and Automated Law Enforcement Resource Tracking Systems (ALERTS). ICC and ALERT systems augment the capabilities of the City of Los Angeles, Harbor Department’s (Department) video surveillance and access control systems by providing software to improve critical incident planning and emergency response management. ICC and ALERTS will also provide mapping technology to locate Port Police resources throughout the Port. The systems will provide a single point of access to video security systems, incident management systems, communications systems and emergency notification systems. ICC will support remote incident command management, and will provide the capability to share video images between ICC and Port Police field units. ICC and ALERTS will also benefit Port tenants by providing a venue to share information with tenants to improve goods movement and security.

    This project contributes to the overall achievement of the Port Wide Security Plan and the Department’s Information Technology Strategic Plan. The cost of the proposed agreement is for an amount not to exceed $4,200,000 and is fully reimbursable by state and federal grants. The term of the agreement is three years. SAIC will share 67% of their project fees with qualified Small Business Enterprise vendors who make up its project team, thereby contributing towards the Department’s SBE objectives. SAIC was selected through a competitive process as the most qualified vendor. SAIC, the prime contractor is based in San Diego, California. SAIC’s subcontractors are based as follows, NorthSouth GIS in Los Angeles, Patriot Data Solutions Group in San Diego, Americon in San Diego, NC4 in El Segundo, Orsus Solutions in New York, RiverGlass in Champaign, Illinois, and RealityMobile in Herndon, Virginia.

    More good info on their project here

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