Tag Archive | National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Podcast: Future U.S. Workforce for GEOINT

This got geoint? podcast features the recently published report on the “Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence,” released this week by the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Keith C. Clarke of the University of California, Santa Barbara, chair of the Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence, joins us to discuss the main findings in the report, including why and how it was conducted, key trends emerging in the industry, current and anticipated expertise gaps, and current training programs.

To listen to the podcast, click Podcast: Future U.S. Workforce for GEOINT. To download a copy of the PDF report, click here.

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New NRC Report: Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence

Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013

Authors:
Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

Abstract: We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers.

Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence.

Do the NGA cuts mark a failure of the commercial satellite imagery market?

by Matt Ball, Sensors and Systems, V1 Magazine, June 26, 2012

GeoEye received word late last week that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) would be making a significant cut in their 2013 funding under the Enhanced View contract, offering only a three or nine-month option. While there is still some indication that Congress might fully fund the program, the news was bleak enough to send GeoEye stock falling more than twenty percent. In this time of tightened government budgets, and unstable global economy, it’s tough on all businesses to remain stable, but combined with dramatic defense cuts, the pressures form a perfect storm for the U.S. commercial satellite imaging industry. The overwhelming defense demand has seen both companies grow strongly over the past decade, with capacity devoted mainly to this task. That strong demand has meant less of an emphasis on growing the commercial applications of this unique spatial intelligence, and without a broad base, some time will be needed to fill revenue gaps. …

For full text of this op-ed, visit Sensors & Systems – Do the NGA cuts mark a failure of the commercial satellite imagery market?.

Place-Based Policies: Think “Where” First, Not Last

To kick off a new Initiative on Place-Based Public Management, the National Academy of Public Administration hosted a forum on Friday, May 20, 2011, to explore the potential that place-based policies and geospatial capabilities hold for improving public management. Speakers included:

  • Xavier Briggs, the primary author of the 2009 White House memo on Place-Based Policy and OMB Associate Director for General Government Services
  • Raphael Bostic, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Keith Barber, the lead for implementing DoD priorities for “whole of government” geospatial  capabilities, National Geospatial-Intelligence Administration
  • Michael Byrne, GIO, Federal Communications Commission, and lead for implementing the National Broadband Map
  • Jerry Johnston, GIO, Environmental Protection Agency, and geospatial lead for Data.gov
  • Mark Reichardt, President and CIO, Open Geospatial Consortium, a leading standards organization enabling place-based strategies

You can find more information about this initiative here.

R. Scott Fosler, who moderated the forum, summarized the key points of the discussion. First, Fosler stated, we must demonstrate “purposeful leadership.” We must identify the public purpose of geospatial technology implementation — economic development, environmental sustainability, community health, and security — at the outset. What are the expected outcomes and impacts for citizens? Second, Fosler noted that with respect to Place-Based Policies and related technologies, the Obama Administration is taking a demand-based approach, not a supply-based approach. Again, what is the impact, and how do we keep costs down? Third, Fosler asked, what are the processes and instruments that can be used to further develop and carry out place-based policies? “All these technologies are tools of management to be used in real-time and in real places,” he said. Lastly, Fosler stressed the importance of ongoing collaboration across boundaries, professions, governments, and sectors.

As we think about the future of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, Jerry Johnston reiterated that we must focus on the public policy use cases first, not on the technology. Raphael Bostic emphasized that technology does not equal policy, and stressed the need for: 1) innovation and openness; 2) simplicity and ease of use; and 3) flexibility. He also listed several challenges that we must meet, including providing leadership on governance; creating community around placed-based policy making; lifting up applied uses; and developing “playbooks” from which communities can adopt solutions. Michael Byrne quipped, “think ‘where’ first, not last,” and then closed with an important point that federal data publication and consumption should be in a single vein.

Large Release of Intelligence Imagery Foreseen

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Large Release of Intelligence Imagery Foreseen

by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, February 28th, 2011

Millions of feet of film of historical imagery from intelligence satellites may be declassified this year, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) said. “The NGA is anticipating the potential declassification of significant amounts of film-based imagery… in 2011,” according to an NGA announcement that solicited contractor interest in converting the declassified film into digital format.  It was published in Federal Business Opportunities on February 14, 2011.  A copy is posted here (pdf). … A nominal start date of October 1, 2011 was specified for the digitization project. The NGA announcement also suggested that the winning contractor would “retain rights to distribute declassified imagery and recoup investment, for a specified period of time (negotiable).”  This would be problematic if it implied that the contractor had exclusive access to the declassified film and could prevent others from digitizing selected portions of it.

For full text of the article, visit Secrecy News.

Developing the Geospatial Workforce

Do we have a sufficient geospatial workforce to meet national needs and spur innovation? Several efforts by the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, NRC Mapping Science Committee, ASPRS, Association of American Geographers, and others are exploring this issue.

National Geospatial Advisory Committee – Workforce Development Subcommittee

National Research Council Ongoing Studies and Reports

 

  • The National Research Council (NRC) will be conducting a study on the future U.S. workforce for geospatial intelligence.  An ad hoc committee will examine the need for geospatial intelligence expertise in the United States compared with the production of experts in the relevant disciplines, and discuss possible ways to ensure adequate availability of the needed expertise.

Geospatial Occupations

Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge

  • DiBiase, D. DeMers, M., Johnson, A., Kemp, K., Luck, A.T., Plewe, B. and E. Wentz (eds.) 2006. Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. First Edition. Published by the Association of American Geographers and the UCGIS. Washington DC. 162pp.

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Additional Resources

New National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Sees GEOINT App Store for Warfighter

New NGA Director Sees #GEOINT App Store for Warfighter

Letitia Long, the newly appointed director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), replacing Admiral Robert Murrett, spoke for the first time at the GEOINT conference today (read her prepared remarks from her keynote). Long has a lengthy resume in the intelligence community (IC) and was recommended by Jim Clapper, the director of national intelligence (DNI) for her new post. She articulated a vision for the agency based on needs she experienced while working as the second in command at the Defense Intelligence Agency.  …   For full text of the article, click here.

Source: Joe Francica, November 2, 2010, Directions Magazine

 

See also recent reports by the Mapping Science Committee, National Research Council of the National Academies:

New Research Directions for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2010): The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) within the Department of Defense has the primary mission of providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information–collectively known as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)–in support of national security. In support of its mission, NGA sponsors research that builds the scientific foundation for geospatial intelligence and that reinforces the academic base, thus training the next generation of NGA analysts while developing new approaches to analytical problems. Historically, NGA has supported research in five core areas: (1) photogrammetry and geomatics, (2) remote sensing and imagery science, (3) geodesy and geophysics, (4) cartographic science, and (5) geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. Positioning NGA for the future is the responsibility of the InnoVision Directorate, which analyzes intelligence trends, technological advances, and emerging customer and partner concepts to provide cutting-edge technology and process solutions. At the request of InnoVision, the National Research Council (NRC) held a 3-day workshop to explore the evolution of the five core research areas and to identify emerging disciplines that may improve the quality of geospatial intelligence over the next 15 years. This workshop report offers a potential research agenda that would expand NGA’s capabilities and improve its effectiveness in providing geospatial intelligence.

Priorities for GEOINT Research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2006) : The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides geospatial intelligence(GEOINT) to support national security, both as a national intelligence and a combatsupport agency. In the post-9/11 world, the need for faster and more accurate geospatialintelligence is increasing. GEOINT uses imagery and geospatial data and information toprovide knowledge for planning, decisions, and action. For example, data from satellites,pilotless aircraft and ground sensors are integrated with maps and other intelligence datato provide location information on a potential target. This report defines 12 hard problemsin geospatial science that NGA must resolve in order to evolve their capabilities to meetfuture needs. Many of the hard research problems are related to integration of datacollected from an ever-growing variety of sensors and non-spatial data sources, andanalysis of spatial data collected during a sequence of time (spatio-temporal data). Thereport also suggests promising approaches in geospatial science and related disciplinesfor meeting these challenges. The results of this study are intended to help NGA prioritizegeospatial science research directionsThe National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides geospatial intelligence(GEOINT) to support national security, both as a national intelligence and a combatsupport agency. In the post-9/11 world, the need for faster and more accurate geospatialintelligence is increasing. GEOINT uses imagery and geospatial data and information toprovide knowledge for planning, decisions, and action. For example, data from satellites,pilotless aircraft and ground sensors are integrated with maps and other intelligence datato provide location information on a potential target. This report defines 12 hard problemsin geospatial science that NGA must resolve in order to evolve their capabilities to meetfuture needs. Many of the hard research problems are related to integration of datacollected from an ever-growing variety of sensors and non-spatial data sources, andanalysis of spatial data collected during a sequence of time (spatio-temporal data). Thereport also suggests promising approaches in geospatial science and related disciplinesfor meeting these challenges. The results of this study are intended to help NGA prioritize geospatial science research directions.

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