A posting from Art Botterell announces the publication of a draft Common Alerting Protocol specification, released for public comment at the recent 13th World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto. This discussion draft was produced by the OASIS Emergency Management Messages and Notification Subcommittee and is supported by the Partnership for Public Warning (PPW). The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is "an open, non-proprietary standard for the exchange of emergency alerts and public warnings over data networks and computer-controlled warning systems. CAP is a simple but general format that allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. It also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience."
Common Alerting Protocol. Edited by Art Botterell (Partnership for Public Warning). Draft for Public Comment. Version 0.9. 20-June-2003. 31 pages. Reference: emergency-CAP-0.9. This document was submitted to the EM Messages and Notification SC on June 20, 2003. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) provides an open, non-proprietary digital message format for all types of alerts and notifications. The CAP format is compatible with emerging techniques, such as Web services, as well as existing formats including the Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) used for NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System, while offering enhanced capabilities that include:
- Flexible geographic targeting using latitude/longitude shapes and other geospatial representations in three dimensions
- Multilingual and multi-audience messaging
- Phased and delayed effective times and expirations
- Enhanced message update and cancellation features
- Template support for framing complete and effective warning messages
- Facility for digital encryption and signature capability
- Facility for digital images and audio
Key benefits of CAP will include reduction of costs and operational complexity by eliminating the need for multiple custom software interfaces to the many warning sources and dissemination systems involved in all-hazard warning. The CAP message format can be converted to and from the 'native' formats of all kinds of sensor and alerting technologies, forming a basis for a technology-independent national and international 'warning internet.' [adapted from the v0.9 spec Introduction]
From the Announcement
The Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) has announced support for the release of a draft Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for public comment. CAP is an open, non-proprietary standard for the exchange of emergency alerts and public warnings over data networks and computer-controlled warning systems, developed by members of the OASIS global standards consortium. CAP is based on work contributed to OASIS by The Partnership for Public Warning.
"CAP will help get a consistent warning message out simultaneously over many different warning systems. That increases warning effectiveness while making the work of warning officials easier," said Ken Allen, Executive Director of PPW, a non-profit institute based near Washington, D.C.
"CAP will also help in the detection of patterns in local warnings that might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. And it provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience. The Partnership for Public Warning is proud to have encouraged the evolution of CAP."
"We're releasing this draft for review and comment now," said R. Allen Wyke, chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee, "because the U.S. and the international community are facing some immediate choices about how to provide effective public warning and inter-agency alerting." Wyke said the CAP standard uses the XML data language and supports the Web services technology, while maintaining compatibility with existing public warning systems.
The CAP draft will be presented to the global emergency management community during a workshop at the 13th World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto, Ontario. The presenter will be Art Botterell, chairman of the OASIS subcommittee responsible for drafting the CAP specification, and convener of the Common Alerting Protocol Working Group, a consortium of more than 130 public safety and technology professionals worldwide that developed and tested prototypes of the CAP standard.
About the OASIS Emergency Management TC
"The purpose of the OASIS Emergency Management TC is to design, develop, and release XML Schema-based standards that begin to solve these real-world problems. These standards will not only provide a framework for data exchange, but also for functionality and service accessibility, all with the common goal of seamless application and data interoperability."
Three subcommittes had been created as of 2003-06-30: Notification and Messaging Subcommitte (EM MSG), Infrastructure Framework Subcommitte(EM IF), and Geospatial Information System Subcommitte(EM GIS).
The EM Notification Methods and Messages Subcommittee was formed "to address procedures and formats for exchanging new and updated information related to functions including public safety, emergency response and homeland security."
- Announcement 2003-06-23: "Emergency Warning Standard Launched at World Disaster Conference."
- Common Alerting Protocol. Version 0.9. June 20, 2003. [source PDF]
- 13th World Conference on Disaster Management
- CAP Working Documents and Resources
- "Common Alerting Protocol (CAP): Public Comment Invited for New Standard." OASIS Fact Sheet on CAP 0.9 Public Review. 6-23-03. [cache]
- "Effective Public Warnings and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)." From the workshop presented by Art Botterell. CAP Briefing at 13th World Conference on Disaster Management. Toronto. 6-23-2003.
- "Warning Experts Create Common Alerting Protocol." Announcement 2003-05-23.
- CAP Resource Links
- EM Messages and Notification Subcommittee
- List archives for EM Messages and Notification SC
- OASIS Emergency Management TC
- "Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Provides XML Interchange Format for Public Safety Reports." News story 2003-01-06.
- OASIS Members Form Emergency Management Technical Committee ."
- "XML and Emergency Management" - General reference document.