10 Years

Reflections on the past decade and the role of USGIF


USGIF CEO Keith Masback speaks at USGIF’s GEOINTeraction Tuesday event in January 2014.

Events in Ukraine are unfolding as Managing Editor Kristin Quinn and crew put this issue of trajectory to bed, and it’s interesting to watch these events play out in real time in the press and on social media. I’ve been particularly fascinated by the crowd-sourced imagery analysis of military activities in and around Crimea. It’s another reminder of just how far we’ve come in the 10 years since the term GEOINT was coined and USGIF was founded.

Many trajectory readers may recall the FY04 National Defense Authorization Act that codified the term “GEOINT,” as well as the launch of the Foundation and first GEOINT Symposia in 2004 following the success of an initial gathering held by what would become the Foundation’s first member organizations.

USGIF was incorporated as a nonprofit educational foundation to support what was then a developing community for a new and somewhat misunderstood term—GEOINT. In the time since, the GEOINT Community has taken on an integral role supporting the safety and security of our nation—and the world.

I’m fortunate to have been associated with USGIF since the very beginning—from helping create the vision for GEOINT at NIMA/NGA, to the alleys of the French Quarter in 2003 and 2004, to sitting on a panel at GEOINT 2006, and finally, becoming a member of the USGIF staff in 2008.

We’ve witnessed the development and deployment of incredible technologies and capabilities during the past decade, many of which have been on display at GEOINT Symposia and our myriad other events. The explosion of remote sensing and location-based services in the commercial sector has been nothing short of encouraging and inspiring. The GEOINT Community is certain to spark, create, and witness even more remarkable advancements in the next 10 years.

In this issue, we have an article from Matt Alderton that reflects upon the first decade of GEOINT. As an added bonus, we’ve included thoughts from community leaders on what the next 10 years may have in store. You can also read about a great exemplar of the discipline’s advancement in Kristin’s cover feature on SmallSats.

However exciting the technological achievements, without the bedrock of the people within the GEOINT Community, it would all be just a bunch of neat gizmos. You—our readers, members, attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, academic partners, scholarship winners, certificate holders—make all this possible. Your steadfast support and unyielding commitment to the idea of GEOINT has catapulted the discipline from an unfamiliar term to a full-fledged community.

You’ve helped us create and expand our events, and you’ve helped us grow the capacity to support the accreditation of eight university GEOINT certificate programs (with several more in the immediate pipeline). Perhaps most importantly, by the end of this year USGIF will roll out a Certified GEOINT Professional designation to ensure our community has the ability to identify qualified GEOINT practitioners.

Thank you sincerely. With your continued engagement, the Foundation will support the GEOINT Community for the next 10 years and beyond. I look forward to seeing you in Tampa in April, if not before.

Supporting Diversity

A message from USGIF CEO, Ronda Schrenk

Fueling Academic Excellence

A letter from USGIF's CEO, Ronda Schrenk

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Reflecting on the past six months' journey and previewing what's to come