Department of Homeland Security Goes Open Data

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published 275 geospatial datasets from its Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) collection. Once available by DVD only, HIFLD uses advanced technology to give users direct access through quick visualization tools embedded in a web page, published map services, or simple file download.

Texas emergency support personnel have long known of the existence of the data, but maintaining a current copy proved challenging. Having access to the latest datasets is beneficial not only to emergency management and response teams, but also to the general public and private entities. The decision to grant greater access to federal geospatial data was largely made due to changing ideals regarding open data. By sharing this information with the public, HIFLD will also benefit from local community feedback on data errors or new information.

HIFLD data contains location information for two dozen asset categories ranging from water supply to retail shipping facilities across the nation.

Some of the categories under the HIFLD collection.Some of the categories under the HIFLD collection.

HIFLD collects and maintains additional geospatial datasets in a database known as HSIP Gold. HSIP Gold is an amalgamation of public information and commercially-licensed data. Though HSIP Gold is unlicensed data, distribution is limited to federal government and States with emergency or disaster declarations.

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