Critical Infrastructure Data Collection
The State of North Dakota through its Department of Emergency Services (DES) is working with local officials and a contractor for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to collect critical infrastructure information throughout the state. Data being collected includes ambulance, fire stations, hospitals, clinics, prisons, sheriffs, and others. One of the benefits of this work is that much of this data is already being used by the NGA and other federal agencies for Homeland Security activities, but those data are commonly dated, incomplete, and inaccurate. North Dakota stands to benefit by helping to improve the quality of this information. The general process that is in place is as follows:
- North Dakota sends a letter or email to relevant officials (e.g. fire chiefs) letting them know about program and asking them for their assistance.
- North Dakota provides existing information (this data does not have to be geospatial, a list will suffice) to the contractor, TechniGraphics (TGS).
- TGS improves the data by telephoning local officials to verify the name, address, phone number, and geospatial location of their facilities.
- The geospatial location is determined by asking the local official to describe their location relative to landmarks visible in ortho imagery.
- TGS delivers the improved data back to the DES in geospatial format to be used internally. The data is not made public unless the DES, in agreement with the original data provider, believes there are no associated risks in doing so.
- TGS delivers improved state data to NGA for use in its Homeland Security activities.