24 Nov 2008

Microsoft to aid in War on Terror

Microsoft and GIS vendor ESRI have announced that they are constructing a suite of collaboration tools for intelligence gathering and processing, intended for deployment at the Department of Homeland Security's national fusion centers. The software is built on top of Microsoft's SharePoint server platform and ESRI's ArcGIS Advanced Enterprise server. 

The software will include a "situational awareness portal" with location-based RSS feeds and XML map overlay data. The information that is managed by the system will be made accessible to intelligence analysts through SharePoint. Microsoft says that the framework will be extensible and can be customized to meet additional, unforeseen needs. The bundle also includes terabytes of prerendered satellite imagery that can be used with mapping software. Microsoft plans to expand the scope of the system and use its components to provide a broader and more comprehensive technology solution for security applications.

The fusion center concept was conceived by the 9/11 Commission as part of a strategy that would streamline communication and intelligence sharing among various federal intelligence agencies and state law enforcement. The fusion centers, which are housed in high-security facilities across the country, provide government officials with a venue to collaborate on collection, analysis, and distribution of sensitive intelligence information.

ars technica