Symposium Features – Trajectory Magazine We are the official publication of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) – the nonprofit, educational organization supporting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:12:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Symposium Features – Trajectory Magazine 32 32 127732085 Building the GEOINT Pipeline in St. Louis Tue, 11 Jul 2017 18:54:20 +0000 St. Louis Initiative aims to educate, mentor St. Louis youth

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USGIF hosted a breakfast June 7 at the GEOINT 2017 Symposium for about 20 government and industry leaders with an interest in building a professional development pipeline and GEOINT workforce in the greater St. Louis area.

The St. Louis Initiative, which USGIF launched in March, addresses the city’s innovation boom and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) soon-to-be-built new western campus in north St. Louis.

Developing a stronger GEOINT Community in St. Louis will take time and energy, said USGIF Vice President of Professional Development Dr. Darryl Murdock, who led the meeting and encouraged stakeholders to share their thoughts about the initiative.

“This is the first of many open conversations,” he said. “You all voted with your feet by showing up here.”

NGA’s new campus, called the Next NGA West (N2W), will be built on 99 acres and replace the existing facility that sits on 22 acres just four miles south. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to break ground in 2018, and NGA expects to move into the facility in 2022. The location is close to the St. Louis startup scene, incubators, universities, and industry counterparts. But NGA is already beginning to plan for its future workforce, starting with kindergarteners.

“We saw an opportunity to scale what we had going on for decades,” said Bill Caniano, NGA’s director of corporate communications, in reference to K-12 outreach. Among the agency’s K-12 goals: improve geographic literacy, introduce new ways of discovering STEM, and incorporate geospatial sciences into curriculum.

Stakeholders at the breakfast talked about ways to build trust in the community, such as setting up mentorships between GEOINT professionals and students, bringing guest speakers into classrooms, and working with local colleges and universities. They also said it will be important to focus well beyond the new campus, considering outreach opportunities throughout the city and county. The city of St. Louis is already supportive of the initiative’s goals; the next step is to build relationships with other community leaders such as council members and church leaders.

A handful of participants who have lived in St. Louis for more than 20 years said the initiative should focus on long-term relationship building. The consensus was that trust of the federal government has decreased in St. Louis, and thoughtful, long-term investment would be most effective. Whether children end up joining the GEOINT workforce, the initiative has the potential to provide them with new skills that would benefit the region in countless ways.

By the end of the meeting, participants were discussing the idea of forming a USGIF Working Group in St. Louis to continue the conversation. About half a dozen people volunteered to sit on a steering committee. Several people recounted seeing students in St. Louis excited about technology such as UAVs, and were enthusiastic about doing more to introduce kids to GEOINT.

“We all know exposure to science and technology at an early age creates a whole new set of thought patterns,” Murdock said.

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Evolving Analysis Wed, 14 Jun 2017 16:16:51 +0000 USGIF’s Analytic Modernization Working Group unpacks the challenges of its trade

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Therapy typically takes place on a comfortable couch in the quiet confines of a psychologist’s office. For a group of several dozen geospatial and imagery analysts, however, it took place in a crowded meeting room at GEOINT 2017, where USGIF’s newly-formed Analytic Modernization Working Group held a lively exchange about the challenges analysts face as the profession modernizes.

“Everything around us is changing. Maybe we feel happy or sad about that. Maybe we feel that we have some concerns. Maybe we want some problems solved,” said Dr. Patrick Biltgen, technical director for analytics at Vencore, who co-moderated the hour-long discussion with Jonathan McColgan, a program manager at OGSystems. “This is GEOINT therapy—just get it out there.”

Rather than hosting a traditional panel discussion, Biltgen and McColgan organized an intra-audience dialogue about the future of analytic tradecraft. OGSystems Visioneer and graphic artist Ben Tinker captured key themes of the discussion via graphic facilitation, creating a large illustration in real time.

The audience produced a number of questions for analysts to consider. A few of the most compelling are:

  • What will our workflows be? As the Intelligence Community moves further toward an “all-source” mindset, analysts are wondering if it’s time to break down barriers between IMINT, GEOINT, and other analytic disciplines.
  • How will we learn new skills? The rapid pace of technological change has many analysts wondering where to seek new training opportunities and how to apply what they learn if their organization is not yet ready to evolve.
  • How do we reward risk? In order to modernize their occupation successfully, analysts said they need support from managers and supervisors who incentivize and understand the value of risk-taking.
  • What’s our definition of ‘product’? Analysts have traditionally been assessed by the quantity of intelligence products they produce. Going forward, the group said, they want to be assessed by the quality of what they produce—which might require a new understanding of what a product is.

Like any good therapy session, attendees left with more questions than answers. As it continues to consider the issues raised, however, the Analytic Modernization Working Group can be expected to play an active role in defining the future of analysis.

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Building Effective Relationships Thu, 08 Jun 2017 02:30:10 +0000 USGIF announces new mentoring program set to kick off in the fall

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Do you need a mentor to help align your budding professional career? “It’s a pretty easy question to answer,” said Justin Franz, USGIF’s volunteer engagement manager.

Members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) gathered Wednesday morning at GEOINT 2017 for an overview and brief workshop introducing USGIF’s new mentoring program, called Intelligence Mentoring for Professional Advancement and Career Training (IMPACT). Experienced professionals will help workforce newcomers overcome typical challenges including networking and setting career goals. The pilot round for the program is set to kick off this fall.

Each IMPACT participant will be paired with a mentor based on similar professional goals and hobbies or interests. According to YPG member and NGA employee Heather FitzGerald, “It’s essential to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be.”
The mentorship will formally last a year, though the hope is for mentors and mentees to continue their professional relationships long after the program ends.
Mentor-mentee pairs will establish objectives and meet face-to-face (or via video or phone calls for those not living in the same area) a minimum of once per month to discuss progress, anxieties, and thoughts on career-based topics—transitioning between government and industry, for instance.

The mentorship will formally last a year, though the hope is for mentors and mentees to continue their professional relationships long after the program ends. YPG member Bill Pilotte of ISPA Technology also noted the value of reverse mentoring, in which experienced leaders learn from the fresh perspectives of those they advise.

IMPACT will be about preparing the Intelligence Community for future success, using lessons learned to develop the next generation of geospatial intelligence professionals.

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Creating a Lifetime of Learning Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:20:11 +0000 LGS Innovations makes pledge to USGIF EdGEOcation Fund

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LGS Innovations donated $7,500 this week to USGIF’s EdGEOcation Giving Fund—the largest single donation to date. “When it comes to ensuring our nation’s continued leadership in science and engineering, it takes a village,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO of LGS Innovations. “Education starts early, and we’re proud to support STEM initiatives across
the country.”

The Giving Fund supports USGIF educational programs, including awarding scholarships to university students, accrediting university programs to grant academic GEOINT certificates, delivering STEM materials and introducing GEOINT to K-12 students, and administering professional certification to the GEOINT workforce.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the generous donation by LGS to our EdGEOcation Giving Fund,” said USGIF CEO Keith Masback. “This initiative, which we launched in 2016, is allowing us to build upon the longstanding support of our corporate and individual members, sponsors, and event attendees. By upgrading and expanding our K-12 initiatives, USGIF truly offers a comprehensive continuum of education, training, and professional development. This pipeline starts at the elementary level, extends through our accredited college and university programs, and on to professional development and certification, providing a lifetime learning.”

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Accelerating Innovation in the Community Wed, 07 Jun 2017 05:12:41 +0000 2017 USGIF Award Winners Announced

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The USGIF Awards Program annually recognizes the exceptional work of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft’s brightest minds and organizations that are pushing the community forward. Award winners are nominated by their colleagues and selected by the USGIF Awards Subcommittee.

“Unwavering commitment to service, inspired innovation, academic rigor, and discipline are just some of the words that define the exceptional accomplishments of this year’s awardees,” said Kevin Jackson, USGIF Awards Subcommittee Chair. “Their accomplishments will have lasting effects on our nation and the world.”

Academic Achievement Award:
DIRSIG Development Team, Rochester Institute of Technology

Community Support Achievement Award:
Dyah Goodman and Michael B. Mosteller, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Government Achievement Award:
NGB-J2 DAART Development Team, National Guard Bureau

Industry Achievement Award:
SpyMeSat Team, Orbit Logic

Military Achievement Award:
Canadian Armed Forces


GEOINT 2017: USGIF Award Winners from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

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A Distinguished Career Wed, 07 Jun 2017 05:02:52 +0000 Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Rosenberg Named 2017 Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

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USGIF named Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert “Rosie” A. Rosenberg, former director of the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), as the 2017 recipient of the Foundation’s Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday at GEOINT 2017. Rosenberg is the 13th individual to receive this prestigious award.


Lifetime Award: Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert “Rosie” A. Rosenberg from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

“Maj. Gen. Rosie Rosenberg is a proven leader never satisfied with the status quo,” said The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris, chairman of USGIF’s Board of Directors. “Rosenberg’s remarkable career reflects his passion for developing and mentoring high caliber professionals and providing them with the technology to be effective agents of change. The board was unanimous in its selection of Rosenberg for the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his decades of substantial contribution to the art and science of geospatial intelligence.”

Rosenberg served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and was instrumental in the U.S. satellite program. He participated in the initial development, testing, and launches of the Atlas-Agena reconnaissance satellite systems with the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, and was the mission planner & targeteer for the GAMBIT reconnaissance satellite program. In other National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) assignments, he was responsible for developing and acquiring the mission planning and command and control software for the HEXAGON program, and also served as acting director of the NRO staff.

Rosenberg was director of DMA, a predecessor to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, from 1985 to 1987. During his tenure as director, Rosenberg made DMA essential to the success of the nation’s warfare capabilities and guided Phase II of the DMA modernization program to ensure alignment with changing DoD requirements.

“What an unexpected and most humbling honor to be named as the Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Award Winner at this year’s GEOINT Symposium,” Rosenberg said. “Just to be honored in the name of these two great American patriots—who so significantly contributed to the foundation of GEOINT—is an awesome recognition in my lifetime. It is also an honor to be sharing this moment with my wife, Marge, of 60 years, who made my contributions to our national security possible.”


Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Rosenberg – Lifetime Achievement Award Winner from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

The Lundahl-Finnie award recipient is nominated and voted upon annually by the USGIF Board of Directors. This distinguished award is named for Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, celebrating their accomplishments—in imagery analysis and mapping, respectively—and their legacies within the GEOINT Community. Lundahl is known as the father of modern imagery intelligence and analysis, and was the founding director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center. Finnie served as DMA’s director of management and technology, and was one of the primary architects of the agency’s evolution into the digital era.

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Army Veteran Robert Farnsworth Recognized with Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award Tue, 06 Jun 2017 03:31:04 +0000 USGIF, the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and Penn State present award at GEOINT 2017 Symposium

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Monday at GEOINT 2017, the 2017 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence was presented to Robert J. Farnsworth, a retired U.S. Army Reconnaissance Engineer. Farnsworth is currently a senior consultant of geospatial data for KeyW Corporation in support of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). After serving 12 years in the U.S. Army, Farnsworth retired in 2009 following injuries sustained while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Keith J. Masback, USGIF CEO, Nancy S. Coleman, Vice President of Corporate Communications at DigitalGlobe and a Board Member of the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and Dr. Todd S. Bacastow, Professor of Practice of GEOINT at Pennsylvania State University, presented the award to Farnsworth on the Government Pavilion Stage in the GEOINT 2017 Exhibit Hall.

Murphy Award 2017 – Recipient Robert Farnsworth from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

The Murphy Award is named for Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a distinguished Penn State alumnus. Murphy was killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. For his selfless leadership and courageous actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The Murphy Award recognizes achievement by a Penn State graduate who is serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or IC. Recipients are chosen based upon demonstration of exceptional contributions to the discipline after completing Penn State’s graduate certificate in geospatial intelligence.

Dr. Todd S. Bacastow, professor of practice in geospatial intelligence at Penn State, reflected upon Farnsworth’s commitment to his education—even while facing combat. “Our program is online and has served military in combat zones,” Bacastow said. “Robert was one such military student. I first met Robert in October 2007 through an email in which he described how he just passed the protective barriers in the front of the dining facility in Iraq when two mortar rounds landed close to him. He went on to say that he wanted ‘to finish the three exams by Sunday, but may need another day or two.’”

Also receiving the 2017 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award is U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Drew Cavanagh, who will be recognized at Penn State’s Military Appreciation Day Nov. 11 in State College, Penn.

The generosity of USGIF, the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and faculty, staff, and friends of Penn State contributed to endowing the Murphy Award.

“USGIF is honored to be a part of supporting this annual award given in the name of Lt. Murphy,” Masback said. “The ability to present this award at the GEOINT Symposium is a sobering reminder of the reason we all work so hard to continually improve the capabilities of the GEOINT Community. Our dedication to service members, first responders, emergency managers, and relief workers who depend on geospatial intelligence to accomplish their respective missions must never waver.”

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Informing Policy Tue, 06 Jun 2017 03:03:00 +0000 Congressman Joaquin Castro Welcomes GEOINT 2017 to his Hometown

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A native of San Antonio—nicknamed Military City, USA, and Cyber City, USA—Congressman Joaquin Castro applauded the GEOINT Community during his welcoming remarks at GEOINT 2017. The Congressman recognized the Intelligence Community’s professionalism and expertise and stressed the importance of intelligence in informing policymakers in Washington.

In his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Castro serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He represents the 20th Congressional District, which includes San Antonio, but more specifically, Port San Antonio and Lackland Air Force Base, large producers and consumers of geospatial intelligence.

“We’re excited to have you back [in San Antonio],” Castro told the audience, noting the Symposium will return to his city once again 2019.

“Of all the places in the country where we think of the work going on intelligence, San Antonio is a very special place,” he said.

Not only is the city home to the nation’s largest joint base and one of largest federal populations in the country, but Joint Base San Antonio—and specifically the 25th Air Force—he said, play a crucial role in providing the multi-source ISR products and capabilities needed to conduct worldwide operations.

I’m often reminded that intelligence is a collaborative process. Intelligence, especially geospatial intelligence, requires collaboration between military, industry, academia, and other agencies.” —Congressman Joaquin Castro

Through his work on the House Intelligence Committee—which he noted was an early supporter of USGIF—Castro is constantly reminded of the importance of the Intelligence Community and the organizations within that community providing policymakers with critical insight.

“Your work sheds light on the unknown and illuminates the space in which policymakers make tough decisions,” he said. “I’m often reminded that intelligence is a collaborative process. Intelligence, especially geospatial intelligence, requires collaboration between military, industry, academia, and other agencies.”

He added that the Symposium highlights the importance of intelligence sharing to identify emerging threats—from Osama bin Laden to Ebola and climate change to natural disasters. Castro said while many of the technologies and techniques used in GEOINT were first pioneered for military applications, they
are increasingly universally applicable.

“Technologies developed here in the Intelligence Community, by academia, and by industry keep the United States of America competitive in a world economy that increasingly values innovation,” the Congressman concluded.

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The Next Generation of GEOINTers Mon, 05 Jun 2017 04:10:17 +0000 GEOINT 2017 features young professionals program

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Twenty-six young professionals hand-selected by USGIF have the opportunity to participate in the GEOINT 2017 Young Professionals Golden Ticket Program this week. This program is an exclusive agenda for young professionals—those 35-years-old and under or with five or less years experience in the GEOINT Community—to receive complimentary GEOINT Foreword and GEOINT 2017 Symposium registration.

As a Golden Ticket recipient, the young professionals will participate in a special agenda comprised of mentoring sessions and luncheons with senior leaders as well as USGIF’s invitation-only Chairman’s reception.

The recipients will also participate in the USGIF Young Professionals Group’s outreach project and accompany 30 San Antonio Boy Scouts on a geocaching mission Wednesday morning.

The GEOINT 2017 Young Professional Golden Ticket winners are:

• Leanna Borrelli, DigitalGlobe

• Zachary Chatelain, BAE Systems

• Kristin Connifey, S2 Analytical Solutions

• Crystal English, San Diego State University

• Zachary Ferriola-Bruckenstein, PricewaterhouseCoopers

• Heather FitzGerald, NGA

• Marisa Hess, MDA Information Systems

• Stephen Huether, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

• Lidia Lopez, NGA

• Luis Machado, Washington College

• Megan Maloney, Appalachian St. University

• Sara McDale, NGA

• Greg Milbourne, Vricon

• Angela Oliver, Xcellent Technology Solutions

• Harrison Parker, University of Mississippi School of Law

• Keyur Patel, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

• Natalii Pitts, MDA Information Systems

• Ashley Richter, Tanzle

• Michael Rutka, NGA

• Elizabeth Slaydon, DigitalGlobe

• Jaclyn Tules, Esri

• Pia Ulrich, Federation of American Scientists

• Madeline Warndorf, DigitalGlobe (HumanGeo)

• Meghan Washington, NGA

• Krystal Wilson, Secure World Foundation

• Hannah Wiser, Wiser

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A Global GEOINT Enterprise Mon, 05 Jun 2017 03:58:54 +0000 NGA senior leaders discuss challenges to industry and the future of analysis

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has once again sent approximately 200 intelligence officers to the GEOINT Symposium with active learning assignments, and NGA leaders round out the many panels and Government Pavilion Stage presentations taking place throughout the week. Just prior to the Symposium, senior leaders shared insights on the future of the analytic workforce, the broader GEOINT Enterprise, and what they hope to learn in the exhibit hall.

Sue Kalweit, Director, Analysis

You participated in a GEOINT Foreword panel Sunday on the changing analytic landscape. How do you believe the landscape is changing across the IC?

First, it’s about our adversary. The changing tactics, techniques, and procedures our adversary is using—whether it’s the North Koreans, the Chinese, the Russians, or ISIS—are acting in ways we hadn’t anticipated or that are surprising to us and we need to get ahead of that. The opportunity for us right now is made available through the growth in the remote sensing industry as well as other publicly available data. When combined with our intelligence data remote sensing advances have the potential to provide 24/7/365 insight to all human activity of interest to us. And by applying the capabilities of data science and analytics we have the opportunity to discover insights that allow us to anticipate events, behaviors, and actions our adversaries are going to take and be able to interdict, disable, or disrupt.

In order to do so we have to retune the skills and competencies of our workforce. We have developed in the GEOINT Community as a workforce that exploits imagery or remotely sensed data and puts into words what is observed. We now have to unlock that content from the pixels and put it into a more structured alignment to integrate it with other data and conduct the data science and analytics now possible.

Moving in that direction requires that our entire workforce be more data savvy and have more skills, knowledge, and comfort in working with data. We have to add skill sets to our existing workforce while also bringing in persons whose primary skill set is around data science, analytic methodologies, data analytics, and who also have mission understanding.

Much of our workforce comes with mission understanding—having studied international relations or political science—or GIS/geospatial analysis expertise. Our geospatially skilled workforce already has a strong familiarity with data so we want to add to that. For our international relations or political science-oriented workforce, we want them to be more comfortable with data science and analytics.


Sue Kalweit, NGA from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

You will be speaking in the Government Pavilion Tuesday afternoon about the future of analysis. How do you envision the analytic workforce of the future?

There’s the workforce within NGA, but across the enterprise to include the National and Allied Systems for Geospatial Intelligence and our industrial partners, is a much larger workforce. Across that enterprise we will have people focused on collecting foundational military intelligence through structured observation management (SOM), where they will be unlocking content from pixels. And we will have software that is automatically collecting observation through automated means. So, a combination of automation and leveraging the entirety of the enterprise—that’s how we’re going to collect.

The analyst’s day will start with an alert, for instance, that indicates events are occurring that could lead to something of interest. The analyst will explore events that have occurred and potential alternatives of events that could occur. They will do so by exploring data associated with those events. Some data will be imagery, some will be structured observation, and it is going to be presented to them in charts that indicate activity that is unusual or abnormal from an expected baseline. They’re going to see the trend that’s been building, and those trend lines are all informed by SOM data.

This will cause analysts to think about what collection is needed or who else in the community they need to coordinate with. Modeling and cueing is going to become the frame of reference for their day. Now, an analyst’s day often starts by asking what imagery was collected over their target, as opposed to cueing off the intelligence problem first and asking what data is available to answer their question.

Fundamental to that approach is collecting all of the observations out of the data. There is so much remote sensing data not only now, but it is going to bust wide open with all the commercial small sats going up. Automation is a critical part of our near term and future. We need automation for change detection and object identification, characterization, and contextualization—those four levels. And therein lies a real challenge to industry.

Dustin Gard-Weiss, Director, GEOINT Enterprise Office

You are moderating a panel Monday morning on the Future of GEOINT featuring members of the Allied System for Geospatial Intelligence (ASG). Why is this panel significant and what do you hope attendees will learn?

First and foremost, the panel reflects the evolution and diversity of the GEOINT enterprise. Our commonwealth partners contribute GEOINT to the benefit of our enterprise, they bring unique capabilities to bear, and they also have unique needs.

When I think about the Symposium one of the themes is: How do we unify the disparate parts of this enterprise to confront issues together? The answer is increased awareness of who the members of the enterprise are, their perspectives on GEOINT, and the roles and values they bring in terms of needs and contributions. This panel is an opportunity to educate the audience about our many enterprise partners—whether it’s the military services, commonwealth partners, or the Five Eyes. They’re each different and this panel will highlight the differences each member of the ASG offers, and that we are bringing them closer and they provide value to the enterprise.


Dustin Gard-Weiss, NGA from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

NGA is going to focus on the whole GEOINT enterprise, to include the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) and ASG in the GEOINT 2017 exhibit hall. What does the agency plan to highlight?

There will be an NSG booth at which NGA and other enterprise members will present. There will be a number of presentations from NGA but we are also including a diverse range of partners. Whether its academic partners, traditional partners such as the U.S. services, or traditional partners with non-traditional ways of addressing the needs of our enterprise, such as the State Department and HumanGeo, for example. There is a wide range of technology, innovation, and tools, capabilities, and approaches we seek to highlight in this booth. It is an increasingly diverse community and we are reliant on our community members more so today than before.

The other pieces we plan to highlight are the opportunities—to show efforts underway between one or two members of enterprise that could be extended to benefit the entire enterprise. We want to emphasize the diverse membership and the value it creates. GEOINT capabilities are pervasive and in use across the world. We owe it to our partners, customers, stakeholders, and decision-makers to highlight that.

David Gauthier, Director, Office of Strategic Operations

What are you most looking forward to about GEOINT 2017?

A number of USGIF working groups will be meeting during the week, so I wanted to avail myself the opportunity to pop into their meetings and learn about some of the cutting-edge GEOINT going on there.

Also, NGA Director Robert Cardillo loves to make first-of-a-kind announcements during the GEOINT Symposium, so it will be interesting to see him roll out something new in his speech this year.

You gave a talk Sunday at GEOINT Foreword on analysis-as-a-service and non-traditional GEOINT. For those who missed it, what were the highlights?

I was excited to speak about the growth of capabilities in the commercial and private markets for GEOINT and how analysis-as-a-service is going to be an important tool for GEOINT professionals to have at their disposal. It’s kind of unique in that I ran the first NGA test of purchasing analysis-as-a-service on the open market in 2015. I talked about that, some lessons learned, and how that has grown into additional contracting and crowdsourcing opportunities. I also shared what’s happened in the two-and-a-half years since that occurred, and about how NGA and its partners should think about using these services in the future.

What technologies and solutions will you be in search of as you tour the GEOINT 2017 exhibit hall?

I’m looking forward to getting facts on the ground about technologies like machine learning, deep learning, AI, and neural networks. There’s a lot of hype in the community about these technologies and applying them to GEOINT problem sets. I think we will be asking some hard questions of the different vendors and looking for performance results. Do they have data that can back up the claims we see in the literature?

I am always interested in seeing how people are using different types of sensors and sensor technologies against GEOINT problems in all domains. I’ll also be on the lookout for visualization and display technologies for big data. We’re constantly challenged with how to visualize the narrative that makes sense in an ocean of data being presented to the user.

Like last year, the government participation from NGA will be organized to make maximum use of the opportunity to talk to so many industry and academic partners. It’s not just a field trip for us. It’s a research assignment and we’ll be out there on the ground asking a lot of hard questions and digging into the current state of the profession.

Photos by NGA. From left to right: David Gauthier, Sue Kalweit, Dustin Gard-Weiss

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