Advancing GEOINT Agility

Innovation drives open geospatial standards development


The GEOINT Revolution—the theme of USGIF’s GEOINT 2016 Symposium—demonstrates strong links between the GEOINT Community and the work of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). As the geospatial intelligence tradecraft leverages broader market activities and enables new technologies at record speed, this mission focus readily aligns our collective environments to advance the application of GEOINT across a growing range of domains, including emergency management, public safety, climate science, and more.

The GEOINT 2016 general session and exhibits demonstrated the correlation between cutting-edge GEOINT solutions and the OGC standards helping to empower them. In his keynote address, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo highlighted the agency’s alignment with OGC’s efforts to advance interoperability—work that includes complex analytics and big data processing by establishing structure in masses of disparate data. Cardillo described how NGA is working closely with OGC to “use standardized and interoperable strategies to maximize mission impact.” This work supports activity-based intelligence by discovering and leveraging location and temporal “patterns in the noise.”

The GEOINT Community’s move to enable cloud computing—to connect analysts and leverage the Internet of Things and mobile applications—will benefit from OGC test-bed initiatives and working group activities, which facilitate the development and testing of interoperable frameworks, methodologies, and ontologies that transcend disparate domains.

Open standards and associated best practices are vital for interoperability and can help rapidly integrate technologies and diverse sources of information. OGC promotes international forums to advance a comprehensive framework of open standards. Its standards are built globally into geospatial technologies that enable the rapid mobilization of tools, data feeds, and processing capabilities within the GEOINT Community. These standards significantly reduce the time, effort, and cost necessary to integrate new content sources and technologies.

Innovation Drives Geospatial Standards

Interoperability challenges are often similar across communities of interest. By connecting the GEOINT Community with representatives from diverse markets and domains, we can advance an efficient and effective interoperability framework—one that also enables effective information exchange with other communities.

With this cross-community collaboration in mind, OGC has formed alliances with more than 30 standards and professional organizations, including USGIF. These alliances enable our organizations to collaborate on solving increasingly complex interoperability challenges, and to achieve outcomes only possible with the resources, expertise, and understanding yielded by working across mission boundaries. These alliances bolster interoperability and encourage the incorporation of open geospatial standards across the IT standards stack to ensure consistent handling of location data, avoid duplication of effort, and weave valuable domain expertise directly into the OGC standards framework.

To address the accelerating pace of technological change, OGC leverages the expertise of more than 100 university and research organizations as well as the research and development capabilities of its industry partners. Through these partnerships, OGC encourages hands-on engineering, prototyping, and applied research initiatives that enable industry, academia, research and user organizations, and individuals to develop, test, demonstrate, and validate new interoperability approaches. At interoperability test beds, pilot initiatives, and plugfests, “running code wins”—rapidly validating new standards and accelerating delivery to market. OGC’s recently introduced Standards Incubator and Community Standard initiatives complement these member activities by encouraging contributions from individuals across the geospatial and broader IT communities.

The GEOINT Community’s involvement in the OGC process is vital to creating an effective, globally adopted framework of open standards for use across the defense and intelligence environment.

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