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October 24, 2005

Redlands, California-ESRI, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, together with business partner GCS Research, recently took part in Operation Last Chance One, a statewide disaster preparedness exercise in the state of Montana.

Led by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) in collaboration with Montana Disaster and Emergency Services (DES), this operation was the first exercise of its magnitude in Montana. It included participation from 59 of 63 county and tribal health departments as well as 26 hospitals and clinics. The two-part exercise simulated the spread of pneumonic plague as high school campers returned to their homes as well as a chemical release from a hypothetical airplane crash at Helena Regional Airport.

A crucial element of Operation Last Chance One was to test the ability of local, state, and federal health officials to share information and resources during a disaster response. Another goal was to test the ability of public health agencies to diagnose disease and investigate and control its spread.

"ESRI and GCS helped our department understand and use GIS in this mission-critical exercise," says James Aspevig, public health informatics manager, DPHHS. "GIS can be very useful in situations that require us to have a better integrated view of conditions on the ground."

"In my opinion, the usefulness of graphic visualization made possible by GIS cannot be overstated," says Earl Hall, basic biodefense project manager at the University of Montana. "While the data necessary for a robust GIS application to public health emergencies in Montana may still be in its infancy, I am convinced that a commitment to data integration will ultimately prove beneficial to public health authorities. Predictive modeling of infectious disease spread, using GIS technology, is an area that deserves more attention."

ESRI and GCS Research volunteered their services in support of the DPHHS Emergency Operations Center planning team operating under the incident commander. ESRI ArcGIS Desktop software and ArcWeb Services were used to provide real-time mapping of simulated disaster events and assessment of the potential geographic spread of disease over time. The DPHHS GIS team also exchanged information in real time with the DES GIS team to ensure that a common operational picture was established and shared by the participating agencies for disease surveillance, communication, and decision-making.

"The critical role of information technology (IT) in public health emergency preparedness and response is clear, as we have seen through its critical role post September 11, 2001, and most recently during ongoing hurricane efforts this year," says Bill Davenhall, health and human services industry manager, ESRI. "GIS adds significant value to IT infrastructure by providing a framework to integrate data from disparate sources - event data; critical infrastructure data such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and roads; pharmaceutical stock pile sites; political boundaries; and real-time data feeds such as weather, traffic, emergency room visits - and then visualize, analyze, and map that information in order to create a common operational picture for communication and decision-making purposes."


October 24, 2005
Press Release: GCS Research Collaborates on Statewide Bioterrorism Exercise

Redlands, California-ESRI, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, together with business partner GCS Research, recently took part in Operation Last Chance One, a statewide disaster preparedness exercise in the state of Montana.

Led by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) in collaboration with Montana Disaster and Emergency Services (DES), this operation was the first exercise of its magnitude in Montana. It included participation from 59 of 63 county and tribal health departments as well as 26 hospitals and clinics. The two-part exercise simulated the spread of pneumonic plague as high school campers returned to their homes as well as a chemical release from a hypothetical airplane crash at Helena Regional Airport.

A crucial element of Operation Last Chance One was to test the ability of local, state, and federal health officials to share information and resources during a disaster response. Another goal was to test the ability of public health agencies to diagnose disease and investigate and control its spread.

"ESRI and GCS helped our department understand and use GIS in this mission-critical exercise," says James Aspevig, public health informatics manager, DPHHS. "GIS can be very useful in situations that require us to have a better integrated view of conditions on the ground."

"In my opinion, the usefulness of graphic visualization made possible by GIS cannot be overstated," says Earl Hall, basic biodefense project manager at the University of Montana. "While the data necessary for a robust GIS application to public health emergencies in Montana may still be in its infancy, I am convinced that a commitment to data integration will ultimately prove beneficial to public health authorities. Predictive modeling of infectious disease spread, using GIS technology, is an area that deserves more attention."

ESRI and GCS Research volunteered their services in support of the DPHHS Emergency Operations Center planning team operating under the incident commander. ESRI ArcGIS Desktop software and ArcWeb Services were used to provide real-time mapping of simulated disaster events and assessment of the potential geographic spread of disease over time. The DPHHS GIS team also exchanged information in real time with the DES GIS team to ensure that a common operational picture was established and shared by the participating agencies for disease surveillance, communication, and decision-making.

"The critical role of information technology (IT) in public health emergency preparedness and response is clear, as we have seen through its critical role post September 11, 2001, and most recently during ongoing hurricane efforts this year," says Bill Davenhall, health and human services industry manager, ESRI. "GIS adds significant value to IT infrastructure by providing a framework to integrate data from disparate sources—event data; critical infrastructure data such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and roads; pharmaceutical stock pile sites; political boundaries; and real-time data feeds such as weather, traffic, emergency room visits—and then visualize, analyze, and map that information in order to create a common operational picture for communication and decision-making purposes."


October 21, 2005

GCS Research is pleased to announce that it has successfully negotiated and executed a licensing agreement with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) for an advanced sensor technology called Blue Rose.

The licensing agreement comes as an extension of an existing CRADA between GCS Research and NUWC, and will advance GCS Research's position in homeland security markets devoted to critical infrastructure, border, and perimeter security. 

GCS Research intends to incorporate the Navy technology into its existing GAIN application, currently deployed at DHS-TSA airport security systems.  GAIN - Geospatial Analysis and Intelligence Network is a COTS-based solution for a multi-sensor COP (Common Operational Picture) of threat target objects. 

The integration of Blue Rose and GAIN will advance a next-generation capability for detecting, classifying, tracking, and exchanging complex dynamic objects within a geospatial command and control Web services architecture.  Intended applications include counterterrorism, antiterrorism,  force protection, and critical infrastructure protection.

Additional details will be released shortly.


October 4, 2005

GCS Research is pleased to announce that it has been formally accepted into DigitalGlobe's Business Partner program.  GCS Research will serve as a DigitalGlobe Distribution and Technology partner and increase its commitment to delivering DigitalGlobe's image products to its expanding local, state, and federal customer base.  

GCS Research looks forward to advancing the delivery of DigitalGlobe imagery through integrated Web services for the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).  GCS Research is currently working to build next-generation solutions that extend the value of DigitalGlobe imagery directly onto the desktop, making it easier to utilize DigitalGlobe product lines and value-added spatial components. This includes Web-based mapping applications, robust .NET Smart client desktop applications, and integration into ESRI's ArcGIS™ platform designed for industry-specific workflows. 

Increasingly, specific US Government customers are requesting advanced sensor fusion capabilities associated with DigitalGlobe imagery, and GCS Research is working closely with DigitalGlobe to deliver unique combinations of spectral bands for critical areas of interest (AOIs) to meet these government requirements.

"GCS Research is honored to have been accepted into DigitalGlobe's Business Partner Program," states Alex Philp, President of GCS Research.  "We have been long-time users and proponents of DigitalGlobe imagery, infusing this product into our USGS, NASA, and US Fish and Wildlife Service programs.  Our entire team is excited about the future and delivering QuickBird pixels in ways never imagined." 

"GCS Research is a valuable business partner to DigitalGlobe on many fronts as both a Technology Partner as well as a Distribution Partner," states Michael McCarthy, senior director of North American commercial sales for DigitalGlobe.  "Their ability to offer unique industry solutions to distribute and create applications based on our imagery is very well aligned with DigitalGlobe's direction."

Currently, GCS Research and DigitalGlobe are working closely to deliver image products and integrated solutions for a variety of local, state, and federal customers. 

About GCS Research:

GCS Research LLC is a geospatial information technology company. We deliver integrated products and services that allow our clients to organize, protect, visualize, analyze, and share their geospatial information across distributed networks.  We specialize in custom .NET geospatial applications and Web services that harness the power of location intelligence and deliver this information across the enterprise.  GCS Research provides award-winning geospatial solutions designed to support connected workflows and powerful, client experiences.  Please visit www.gcs-research.com to learn more about GCS Research and how our integrated products and services can benefit your organization. 


October 4, 2005
Press Release: GCS Research Provides Geospatial Solution for Tallahassee Regional Airport Security Project

Tallahassee Regional Wins New TSA Grant to Develop Advanced Security Solution for Improved Situational Awareness of Suspicious Behaviors and Intruders

SUNNYVALE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 10/04/2005 -- Vidient Systems, Inc., a developer of intelligent video software that makes video surveillance cameras (CCTV) more accurate and cost effective, announced today that its SmartCatch 2.5 software has been selected for inclusion in an innovative new security solution being developed at Tallahassee Regional Airport. The new system is designed specifically to rapidly intercept and neutralize threatening intruders, whether individuals on foot or in vehicles, via behavior recognition technology.

The advanced new system, designed by G5 Technologies of Cherry Hill, NJ, and funded through a $1-million grant from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), tightly integrates new and existing security subsystems at the Tallahassee Regional Airport into a highly automated, airport-wide early warning and rapid response system. Abeo Corporation of Herndon, VA, is the systems integrator for the project.

With the use of SmartCatch 2.5 in this new system, Tallahassee joins a growing list of airports using the proven Vidient technology. Others using SmartCatch include San Francisco International, San Diego International and Salt Lake City International airports. This also marks the second TSA grant awarded to develop new security systems at leading airports that include Vidient's SmartCatch surveillance software.

"It's imperative that we shift the emphasis of security solutions today from after-the-fact forensics to real-time intrusion and neutralization," said Bill Adams, CEO of G5 Technologies, the prime contractor and systems engineer for the new project. "An ideal way to accomplish this is through holistic integration of advanced systems and the use of behavior analysis video software that gives security personnel complete awareness of their immediate security situation, at all times. That's why we are developing this system for Tallahassee Regional Airport."

The new rapid response security system recalibrates a high standard at an airport already recognized as progressive in regards to security. Tallahassee Regional Airport is receiving the "2005 Excellence in Airport Security" award this month from Air Safety Week, one of the aviation industry's leading security publications. Situated on 2,743 acres, the airport serves a diverse group of users, including airlines, commuter and charter services, scheduled air cargo operations, corporate aviation, light aircraft training, and a wide variety of business-oriented and private general aviation activities in a 100-mile radius of Tallahassee.

"The team at Tallahassee Regional Airport, G5 and the TSA clearly recognizes the need to significantly improve an airport's ability to identify threatening behaviors sooner and to more optimally deal with emergencies if and when they occur," said Brooks McChesney, founder and CEO of Vidient Systems, Inc. "We share that goal which is why our software focuses on behavior recognition and analysis, and includes a powerful response management capability."

In designing the new system, G5 Technologies has assembled a team of industry leaders that is integrating many of the airport's security subsystems, from access control to an airport-wide network of CCTV cameras equipped with new intelligent video software from Vidient, all connected via a wired and wireless communications network. Real-time video data that is analyzed by the Vidient SmartCatch 2.5 software will be fed into a geospatial data information system to significantly improve situational awareness. Real-time alerts with video clips can then be sent to designated airport security and local law enforcement personnel for rapid coordination and appropriate action. The geospatial information system is being provided by GCS Research of Missoula, Montana.

Vidient SmartCatch 2.5, the newest release of the company's flagship product, provides the most advanced intelligent video surveillance system available today. Featuring true behavior recognition capabilities, it solves real world problems not just motion detection or simple object tracking. SmartCatch offers a comprehensive set of behaviors that can be monitored indoors and out, including new applications for robust perimeter surveillance and built-in support for leading access control systems and mobile communication devices. It provides protection across an entire enterprise by integrating seamlessly with a company's existing security infrastructure and providing an advanced real-time alert management response system.