Technology briefs

GIS one-stop project ramps up

The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) is looking for organizations to help define geographic information system standards for managing information about roads.

The Transportation Framework Data Content Standard is part of the Geospatial One Stop project, one of the Bush administration's 24 e-government initiatives.

With members drawn from industry, government and academia, OGC is seeking experts to develop the standards that make it easier for organizations or communities to exchange roads-related data.

The standards will build on existing tools and techniques, including Unified Modeling Language, a tool for designing and visualizing complex software programs, and Geography Markup Language, a tool similar to Extensible Markup Language for encoding spatial data so it can be exchanged between systems.

Accela unwraps emergency response

Accela Inc., which specializes in wireless and Web-based software applications, has developed a system to give government officials access to the forms and information they need when responding to a disaster.

Inspectors in the field can access the Emergency Response System with a personal digital assistant to fill out an ATC-20, the standard damage assessment form. Inspectors also can link the tool to a geographic information system so they can view maps and analyze data, according to Accela officials.

GSA reviewing Qwest contracts

The General Services Administration announced July 11 that it is reviewing all of Qwest Communications International Inc.'s government contracts to determine whether to bar the company from future federal contracts.

The GSA general counsel's office is reviewing Qwest's "present responsibility," which checks the company's financial resources, ability to meet contract schedules, record of integrity and business ethics, and accounting and operational controls. Qwest currently holds multiple local telecommunications contracts through GSA, is offering Web services through GSA's long-distance contract and holds several high-performance networking contracts, including the $25 million NASA Research and Engineering Network.

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