Last week, a few of my teammates and I participated in the Strong Angel III effort in San Diego. As the NYT article below mentions, we used SSE to pull in data from several different sources in the field and analyze / visualize it in various clients. The distributed nature of SSE worked very well in an environment of many ad-hoc unreliable networks, and its basis on RSS made it easy to consume by 3rd party developers from Google, IDV (a Virtual Earth partner) etc.
The graphic above illustrates how we used SSE in the exercise. On the final day we did a demo to show the integration between Groove, IDV and Google Earth that was recorded and will be available in video form soon.
At the same time, the technology roadblocks were balanced by notable successes, like the work of Google, Microsoft, ESRI, Intergraph and other companies to allow sharing a single set of digital satellite maps seamlessly and to overlay event data relayed from emergency workers throughout the San Diego area.
The new software capability relies on a Microsoft-designed system called Simple Sharing Extensions. It has been built on industry standards, like the Web protocol known as Really Simple Syndication, or R.S.S., which was designed to enable one-way data streams.
Such tools are valuable for disaster-response coordinators who require real-time data feeds from a variety of locations. The Microsoft extensions will make it possible for the feeds to display constantly changing or even conflicting data streams from multiple sources.
Moreover, the achievement demonstrated that industry rivals like Microsoft and Google could cooperatively generate useful technologies. Small teams of programmers from the two companies sat before laptops at adjacent tables to make sure that the Microsoft software connection system would transfer information to Google Earth, Google’s visual mapping tool.