The amount of information gathered during a crisis can be crushing if not managed correctly. Visualization is critical to the protection and security of America and her allies. In the event of a catastrophe such as a chemical spill, natural disaster, disease outbreak or a terrorist attack, information will be coming from many sources, such as camera images, data from sensors and simulations, and text documents from police and health-care agencies.

Established in July of 2009, the Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments Center (VACCINE), is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center of Excellence in Visual and Data Analytics. VACCINE’s mission continues to focus on creating methods, tools, and applications to analyze and manage vast amounts of information for all mission areas of homeland security in the most efficient manner. Center strengths include:

Integrated program of research, education, and outreach: spans the disciplines of visualization and computer graphics, engineering, computer science, geographic information systems, cognitive psychology, information technology, and emergency management and public safety.

Broad network of schools: partners with 27 universities both domestic and international aimed at turning massive data into actionable knowledge through innovative visual analytics techniques.

Extensive end-user community: possesses strong, collaborative history and experience in working with end-users to solve their real-world problems.

  • VACCINE has done work with more than half of the agencies within the Department of Homeland Security
  • The center has MOUs (memorandums of understanding) with more than 40 different law enforcement agencies
  • This community of end-users makes it possible for VACCINE’s research to result in the development of robust tools that are helping to make an impact on law enforcement, first responders, and homeland security personnel across the country

Transitioned technology: transitions technology and tools out of the research lab to local, state-wide, and national use with lasting impact. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard has implemented a search and rescue visual analytics tool developed by VACCINE for its use agency wide.

Educational outreach: educates the next generation of homeland security professionals to harness the power of visual analytics and advanced computational tools to enable them to make effective decisions from the mass amount of data they will face in their careers.

VACCINE: Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments