EDXL Workshop


EDXL Workshop
Friday, 22 September
08:30-13:30 (CEST)

On 22 September, the half day workshop will present the OASIS Standards that support the emergency management mission, focusing on Emergency Management Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) standards along with the reference information model and tools available for use. There will be also presentations of how EDXL is being used in operational systems.

Link to presentations, list of participants, and wrap up report.


1.1 Welcome from Workshop host Italian National Fire Corps
Stefano Marsella, National Fire Corps, Ministry of Interiors Italy
1.2 Welcome from OASIS
Elysa Jones, Chair, OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee and Emergency Interoperoperability Member Section
1.3 Organization of the Workshop

Elysa Jones, Chair, OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee and Emergency Interoperoperability Member Section
2.1 Intro to EDXL
Elysa Jones, Chair, OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee and Emergency Interoperoperability Member Section

Speaker profile:

Elysa Jones is Chief Executive Officer of Honeycomb IQ, Inc. and a founding member of the company. She brings more than 30 years of technology industry leadership, computer hardware expertise, and executive management experience to her role with the company. Elysa Jones manages corporate direction and strategy at Honeycomb IQ, facilitating company activity in consulting, sales, marketing, alliances and channels, and support. She is also responsible for Honeycomb IQ’s global business solutions for industries, creating products and services for specific markets and industries such as energy, healthcare, and public safety. Since joining Honeycomb IQ, Elysa has worked to share Honeycomb IQ’s strategy and vision with customers, partners, shareholders, and investors.

Elysa Jones is an internationally recognized expert in Emergency Interoperability Communications via Data Messaging. Elysa is Chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee since 2004. Her Committee developed and maintains the Common Alerting Protocol Standard known as CAP, which is also ITU recommendation x.1303. Additional Standards for message distribution, resource messaging, hospital availability, tracking of emergency patients and clients and situation reporting are products of her committee. She is Vice-Chair of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Standards and Practices Committee keeping her in close contact with the data needs of the emergency management community.

Prior to her leadership with Honeycomb IQ, Elysa has been the Chief Technology Officer and Advisor for various Companies, Organizations and Countries providing guidance on the development of systems that utilize data messaging standards. She holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Economics, and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She was awarded the first annual Leadership Award in Emergency Interoperability by the Emergency Interoperability Consortium, served on the boards of the Partnership for Public Warning, and the Emergency Management Forum. Elysa is a tireless advocate for the use of open standards in support of emergency communications.

2.2 EDXL Framework Toolkit
Rex Brooks, President and CEO, Starbourne Communications Design (remote presentation)

The Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) grew out of a process that included input from first responders/practitioners, governmental agencies, vendor/implementers and concerned members of the public. It grew over decades in a process driven by requirements from as many stakeholders as could be reasonably included. It did not grow out of a either a top-down or bottom-up approach, but a combination of both as appropriate. As such, it was not until the current set of specifications was in place, that we were able to begin to effectively see it as a whole and identify the common structure that evolved out of the standards development process.

This presentation focuses on the recent effort to craft a framework-toolkit that fulfills the need for development-support for developer-implementers. For EDXL to fulfill its promise of improving emergency management we need to attract more software developers to take on the task of implementing EDXL. That process is underway and will be presented during this meeting.

Speaker profile:
President and CEO of Starbourne Communications Design, Rex Brooks is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley. His career in Advertising led to wider interests in Communications Design, combining technologies in print, film, video, multimedia and the worldwide web to improve the art and science of communications. Ongoing interests include applications of digital technology in communications design, applying concepts from Psychology, Sociology and Advertising in the area of Semantics and Semantic Interoperability for the purposes of improving communications in both human to human and human to machine communications. This focus includes participation in the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) in several OASIS Technical Committees (TCs) including the Emergency Management TC.

2.3 Italian Fire Corps Plans to Adopt EDXL
Marcello Marzoli, Engineer, Italian Ministry of Interior, Department of Fire Corps

Speaker profile:

Marcello Marzoli, Fire Captain, degree in Aerospace Engineering, since 1990 he has been working for the Italian Ministry of Interior, Department of Fire Corps, Civil Defence and Public Rescue. In 1997 he was at the Rome HQ Control Centre, in 1998 he moved to the National Control Centre, then to the Air Service and the National IT Office, to come back in 2005 to the Rome HQ. Since 2001 he has been working on European and National R&D projects: namely, ITALSCAR (ESA 2001) and the EU projects LOCCATEC (2000), INStANT (2001), LIAISON (2003), PETRA-NET (2005), REACT (2005), SAVE-ME (2008), IDIRA (2010), REFIRE (2010), HELI4Rescue (2011) and AF3 (2014). Since 2002 he has been appointed as expert evaluator by the EC in the Space, IST, NMP and Security R&D activities. He is inventor and assignee of a couple of Italian Patents in the medical apparatus domain. He has published several papers.
 2.4 Handling of EDXL-DE Messages for Information Distribution Using JIXEL Share
Massimo Cristaldi, Technical Director, IES Solutions

Speaker profile:
Massimo Cristaldi scientific activities can be basically split in two main scientific “tracks” that intersected (and still intersects) many time along his 20 years career: as a geophysicist and as Technical Coordinator of IT projects dealing mainly with Environment, Emergency Management and Security. From 1993 to present, he worked mainly in the estimation of earthquake effects in Urban Areas, developing software solutions and consulting, with the support of software simulations, academic and private companies in expected soil response, for better land use planning. From 1995 to 1998 he was a researcher for the Italian Council of Research and has been appointed by Italian Civil Protection in supporting European Projects acting as and end users and as Validation Manager (TEKVOLC, TITAN). In 1997 he founded a company (MESTOR) active in GIS. JAPAN TRADE ORGANIZATION (JETRO), for the development of seismic simulation software, has awarded the company in 1999 as the first Italian innovation company. MESTOR has been working for the European Space Agency for Fire Related Remote Sensing oriented algorithm and for the EU commission in water related IT projects (DEMETER). In 2004 Massimo Cristaldi joined IES Solutions as business partner and as technical director. All MESTOR activities have been merged with IES Solutions. Over the last 8 years IES has successfully completed over 8 European Union Projects, from FP5 to nowadays, often acting as a Project Coordinator (REACT, LOCCATEC, REACH112) and/or as Technical Coordinator. IES has won many international and national innovation related awards for its effort in the field of Interoperability for Emergency Services. MC efforts, within IES, have been always linked to the coordination of large international teams. For what concerns IT projects related to emergencies, in particular, the above-mentioned “tracks” merge in a natural way, thanks to Massimo Cristaldi’s experience in technical management and in the emergency sector.

Group photo and refreshment break
3.1 The Sahana EDXL Experience
Nuwan Waidyanatha, Board Director, Sahana Software Foundation (remote presentation)

Sahana Software Foundation' makes high quality information management systems for emergency preparedness, response, recovery and resilience-building accessible to all. Our primary software product, Sahana EDEN,  is the most popular open source disaster management software in the world with over 65 deployments over more than 25 countries. EDEN systems are mainly deployed for three different use cases: 1) in-situ emergency deployments aiding major crisis, 2) enterprise deployments for humanitarian institutional daily use, and 3) emergency and crisis management research & pilot project deployments. Sahana has used Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) in each of these categories.

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) being the most widely used standard research and deployed as an enterprise solution for managing warnings and situational-awareness; namely the “Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker” (SAMBRO). SAMBRO is operational in Myanmar, Maldives, and the Philippines. CAP was used in a multitude of research projects that examined the use for integrating CAP in Public Health and Community-based warning practices. The “Voice-enabled ICTs for Disaster Management” research project involved both EDXL CAP and SITREP. It explored  the intricacies of automating the conversion of CAP messages to local language audio and converting local language field-observation audio reports into SITREPs.

The Washington State Common Operating Picture (WA-COP) was developed to integrate incident management reports from all emergency services in the State of WA. Given its association with Incident Command and Control System (ICCS) protocols, WA-COP proved that EDXL-SITREP could be implemented in EDEN. The WA-COP project is also the stepping stone for the “Sahana First Response” (SAFIRE) solution. SAFIRE would complement a simple Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for recording incidents, planning the response, dispatching resources, and managing the logistics of managing the situation. Therefore, SAFIRE serves as an ideal platform for testing and implementing EDXL-SITREP and EDXL-RM interoperable messaging standards.

Sahana, briefly, investigated EDXL-RM in the Give2LA project. However, it was deemed too complex for that project and, as a result, EDXL-RM implementation was abandoned. The Give2LA solution was designed to manage volunteers and the dispatch of volunteers to aid in various incidents. EDXL-DE v1.0 was implemented as a wrapper in the “National Library of Medicine Triage” management solution for sharing photos with State and Federal Stakeholders. Sahana, serving as an information aggregator, during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, implemented EDXL-HAVE to offer structured information on hospital availability to the humanitarian response community. While Sahana is a firm believer in humanitarian content standards and advocates interoperability, software developments are predominantly driven by customer requirements that are constrained and governed by the availability of project resources. Therefore, the adoption of EDXL, as well as HXL (Humanitarian Exchange Language), by the EDEN system has been slow. Sahana continues to seek opportunities to strengthen EDEN’s EDXL adoption to better interoperate with national and international systems, as well as contribute to lessons learned to the humanitarian and standards development community.

Speaker profile:

Mr. Nuwan Waidyanatha is an emergency communications expert with extensive knowledge and fifteen years of experience designing and developing innovative products and services. Currently, Nuwan is part of a team contributing in the capacity of an ICT and emergency communication expert in upgrading the Fijian Tsunami Warning System that makes use of new-age communications (e.g. Cell Broadcast, DVB2, LEO Satellites, IOT) beyond tradition siren tower thinking. He lead a team in implementing the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) International warning standard and the Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO), all-hazard all-media early warning dissemination and cross-agency situational-awareness platform for improving institutional responsiveness in Maldives, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Nuwan has evaluated and provided recommendations for improving the National emergency communication plans and systems for the Governments of Nepal, Timor-Leste, India, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka. Mr. Waidyanatha is a freelance consultant running his own company Spot On Solutions and serving as a Sahana Software Foundation Board Director and a LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow. He serves on the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM) editorial board and been part of several other journal and conference scientific committees. Nuwan has published four book chapters, over a dozen journal articles, and more than 40 peer-reviewed conference papers. His education is in Industrial Automation (M.Sc - University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2005), Operations Research (M.A - University of Montana, USA, 1999), and Computer Engineering/Mathematics (B.A - University of Maine, USA, 1996).


3.2 Bridging the gap between healthcare and emergency services
Elysa Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Honeycomb IQ, Inc.

Speaker profile:

(See above)

3.3 First Responder Tools
Don McGarry, Chief Technology Officer, Ardent Management Consulting (remote presentation)

ArdentMC specializes in standards-based situational awareness and geospatial capabilities. This presentation will provide an overview of our cloud services for public safety and emergency management including our EDXL-DE based messaging platform (Vortex), mobile situational awareness app for iOS / Android (WatchTower), Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors, and integrations with legacy systems and GIS platforms. These tools were developed through support to the US DHS First Responder’s Group and through direct partnerships with numerous US State and Local First Responders & Emergency Managers.

Speaker profile:
Mr. Don McGarry is the Chief Technology Officer of Ardent Management Consulting and a practicing Paramedic in Virginia with Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad. In the past Mr. McGarry has been employed in a full-time role as a Paramedic for a number of EMS agencies since 2001.  Currently, Mr. McGarry is leading multiple efforts in support of the First Responder’s Group related to information sharing, interoperability, and technology capabilities for first responders and emergency managers. His work in this area includes a number of operational prototypes, State and Local partnerships, and open-source projects to benefit the Homeland Security Enterprise.  Mr. McGarry has a MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University and is a Nationally Registered Paramedic.

3.4 C2-SENSE, a research project video (Use Case—Turkey)

Mert Gencturk, Senior Software Engineer, SRDC Software Research & Development Ankara

This video demonstrates how to create Resource Management profile by first defining the Request Resource message and then the whole profile.
3.5 Summary Report and Closure of the Workshop
OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee and Emergency Interoperoperability Member Section

Speaker profile:

(See above)


There is no charge to attend this workshop; however, registration is required.

Reserve your seat.

Related materials:

Questions regarding the workshop may be directed to events@oasis-open.org.