Meeting Info

Date & time
15 Nov 2017, 6:00pm

University of Washington

UW Anderson Hall, Forest Club room 207

It's the room with the elk in it.

47.651737, -122.30754


  • @powersa, current CUGOS president, will refresh the group on our board election process ahead of the vote in December.
  • @dhuling, Will talk to us remotely about his time serving as a data specialist in a FEMA Recovery center in Flordia following Hurricane Irma.
  • @sarahbat - how do you use data as a service? Anything you want the Feds to know? Sarah will talk about her exciting subcommittee work on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC)
  • Ryan Small - How to access and use the data on
  • @you tell us about what you’re trying to solve.

UW Event Wifi

UW NetID:     event0459
Password:     WgYa:ZkAo:LsUy



Derek, CUGOS member at large, has been working at a JFO (Joint Field Office) in Orlando.

It’s an Arc shop. It’s Federal policy not to use Open Source Software due to PII restrictions. Survey 123 to collect data in the field. They do shelter and hotel depopulation to get people in permanent housing solutions.

He’s in the Reporting and Analytics division. They do trends and projections. Derek spends a lot of time in the field. Irma, Harvey, Maria and CA wildfires. They’re working on all of them. They spend a lot of time trying to get people housing.

Started in Orlando. Lots of debris piles. Most of the worst damage was in the Keys. Survivors are prioritized over Federal personnel, which can create a staffing challenge. A lot FEMA personnel end up on ships, 8 hour shifts in the bed.

Individual Assistance and Public Assistance are the two big categories of disaster recovery. IA gives assistance directly to survivors, PA helps rebuild community infrastructure. PA can last for many years, IA is over generally after 18 months.

Local Hires are heavily relied on for long term recovery operations.

They have a lot of imagery but no way to process it quickly. So, in theory, if someone were to process that to put it on a map, then you could leverage that data to quantify the damage.

Andrew Powers

Elections are coming up.

Sarah Battersby, NGAC Report - Focus on “Data as a Service”

NGAC - National Geospatial Advisory Committee sponsored by the Dept. of the Interior. Report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). They provide advice and recommendations related to management of Federal and national geospatial programs.

Committee is comprised of 50% government, 50% non-government folks.

“Data as Services” group is focused on:

  • increase in data holdings, changes in user base, changes in needs/uses? How are these services being distributed? How are people using them effectively?
  • current and future needs for data as a service from Federal data repositories

How can CUGOS (you) contribute?

  • How do you use DaaS?
  • How do you use federal data? Is it a pain? What problems?
  • Standardization concerns?
  • Formatting needs?
  • Share stories related to the data you’re using, how you’re using it, and concerns you have.
  • Interested in: versioning, access issues?, restrictions to use? stability? network overloads? use in disaster situations? complexity of access? privacy, confidentiality, or security concerns? how do you use the data (basemaps, analytics, etc.)? indexing and search? standards and formats?

Want to help? Reach out to Sarah Battersby at

Ryan Small


What data sets are available? Some really interesting ones like GDELT which ties emotion to news headlines, OpenStreetMap, Landsat 8, and many more.

Why use the data gathered by Amazon?

  • finding data is hard
  • getting it is a pain
  • amazon has made this data easy to access
  • amazon is updating the data and has made it easily to programmatically monitor

Why/why not use their data? (open discussion)

  • They are fulfilling a usability gap that is not fulfilled by the government.
  • It’s a vendor lock in scheme, use other AWS services to make it even better! :)

Next meeting: 12/13/2017   Previous meeting: 10/18/2017 All meetings