Virtual Coverage

Virtual Coverage

Chief Information Officer

IC Technical Specifications

XML Data Encoding Specification for Virtual Coverage


This XML Data Encoding Specification for Virtual Coverage (VIRT.XML) defines detailed implementation guidance for using Extensible Markup Language (XML) to encode virtual coverage data. This Data Encoding Specification (DES) defines the XML elements and attributes, associated structures and relationships, mandatory and cardinality requirements, and permissible values for representing VIRT data concepts using XML.

This specification is applicable to the Intelligence Community (IC) and information produced by, stored, or shared within the IC. This DES may have relevance outside the scope of intelligence; however, prior to applying outside of this defined scope, the DES should be closely scrutinized and differences separately documented and assessed for applicability.

This specification applies to the IC, as defined by the National Security Act of 1947, as amended; and such other elements of any other department or agency as may be designated by the President or designated jointly by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the head of the department or agency concerned, as an element of the IC. Joint and Coalition forces may use this specification, but it is not required.

This specification is maintained by the IC Chief Information Officer via the Data Standards Coordination Activity (DSCA) and Common Metadata Standards Tiger Team (CMSTT).

Technical Specification Downloads

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Mission Requirements

Information sharing within the national intelligence enterprise will increasingly rely on describing virtual locations in shared intelligence. A structured, verifiable representation of virtual coverage to the intelligence data is required in order for the enterprise to become inherently "smarter" about the information flowing in and around it. Such a representation, when implemented with other data formats, improved user interfaces, and data processing utilities, can provide part of a larger, robust information assurance infrastructure capable of automating some of the management and exchange decisions today being performed by human beings.

The Intelligence Community (IC) has standardized the various classification and control markings established for information sharing within the Information Security Markings (ISM) specification of the Intelligence Community Enterprise Architecture (ICEA) Data Standards. The Virtual Coverage XML specification combines NTK and ISM elements from the ISM specification and extends them to virtual coverage needs.