Geospatial interoperability: Maritime security policy imperative



Sam Bacharach, Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption, Open Geospatial Consortium, Herndon, VA, USA



All nations and port authorities can benefit from a coordinated policy for maritime security activities that involve cooperation with foreign governments, international and regional organisations, and the private sector.

The oceans are the largest part of the surface of our planet, a continuous domain with few visible traces of nations’ ‘territorial seas’ and ‘exclusive economic zones.’ The oceans are largely borderless, and in countries with coastlines the many agencies responsible for maritime security have overlapping territories and mandates, which makes coordination and information sharing absolutely necessary in today’s security environment.

Different nations’ agencies assign security roles in different ways, but the need for information sharing is the same. In the US, the Department of Defense (DOD), which includes the Navy, is the lead federal agency for homeland defense (HLD), while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes the Coast Guard, is the lead federal agency for homeland security (HLS). However, several Navy activities contribute to both HLS and HLD, and the need for Navy coordination and information sharing with the Coast Guard and with non-federal agencies such as harbour police, in HLS and HLD, in intelligence gathering and other operations, is obvious.

In intelligence activities as well as disaster situations, there is also …..

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