Posts Tagged ‘Harbor Police’

The Port of Los Angeles GIS Request For Proposals

February 18, 2009

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.


PortGIS Task #3: The StreetViewer Custom Task

December 2, 2008

Below is a video showing our first custom task: StreetViewer. This is also the first view of the Harbor Police customization of the PortGIS, previously referred to here. We hope to make similar customizations for other departments. It was released on the ESRI ArcScripts site and utilizes the Google Maps Application Programming Interface (API). There are clear step-by-step instructions at the ArcGIS Explorer Blog if you’d like to learn how the task was implemented.

From Wikipedia:
“Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic street-level views and allows users to view parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas at ground level. When it was launched on May 25, 2007, only five American cities were included. It has since expanded to thousands of locations in the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.”

Below is a StreetView popup window. The location should be familiar. Feel free to check out the functionality.

ArcGIS Explorer Blog Post

Google Maps API Services Page


PortGIS (Harbor Police) to be Released

October 30, 2008

We hope to release PortGIS to the Harbor Police desktops within the next month. This release will include many enhancements over the PortGIS (Beta version). This rollout is going to have many firsts for us, including a full departmental PortGIS software push, a custom task, .NET software release on the server, and authentication and authorization within the Port network. Below is a list of the added functionality to the PortGIS (Harbor Police) release. I hope to have a video showing some of these features shortly. For now I will include snapshots.

The Harbor Police has been very supportive of our efforts in the GIS department and have been eager to embrace technological advances. LJJ and MR (See docs #315612) are working to bring hardware upgrades, or new computers to support the 1GB minimum software requirements for the PortGIS. There are something like 60x1gb RAM sticks and 30 brand new computers involved. It is a lot of work, and much of the credit for the PortGIS actually running on computers at the Port belongs to them and their teams.

1) Added 2005 in-house half-foot Imagery

1) Added 2005 in-house half-foot Imagery

2) Blocking out imagery outside the San Diego Area

3) Added Find Telephone Task

3) Added Find Telephone Task(click image for more info)

4) Added Find Route Task

4) Added Find Route Task(click image for more info)

5) Added Find Computer Location Task

5) Added Find Computer Location Task(click image for more info)

6) Added Identify Task

6) Added Identify Task (click image for more info)

7) Added StreetViewer Custom Task

7) Added StreetViewer Custom Task (click image for more info)

8) 1)Ability to track vehicles, although still working out the kinks

8) Ability to track vehicles, although still working out the kinks

9) Access to public webcams in the San Diego area

9) Access to public webcams in the San Diego area

10) Customized help menu

10) Customized content and appearance of help

This release is still in development. Our hope is that the Harbor Police will start working with the product to hone in on exactly how they would like this tool to be used. Often when we solve a problem it creates new ones. For example; we can now track many of the vehicles, including those off-duty. So this raises the question: Even when they are on-duty; Is it necessary for the entire department to have access to their locations? Or, should we limit it to certain people, CSF (See docs #315612) and dispatchers. Just a little food for thought.

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