GEOINT Community Pushes Open-source App Development

GEOINT Foreword’s “Creating and Posting Open-Source Apps” concurrent session was divided into two parts during which panelists offered tips for creating and deploying apps within the GEOINT Community


Apple’s ubiquitous slogan is wrong: When it comes to GEOINT, at least, there probably isn’t an app for that—yet. Open-source development could change this, however, according to panelists who spoke Monday during GEOINT Foreword’s “Creating and Posting Open-Source Apps” concurrent session.

Geared toward amateur and professional app developers alike, the session was divided into two parts during which panelists offered tips for creating and deploying apps within the GEOINT community.

“What we really want to focus on is the pragmatic aspects of leveraging the resources that are available to you to quickly build applications you can deploy to specifically target the GEOINT Community as a consumer of your apps,” explained moderator Ben Conklin, lead for Military and Intelligence Solutions at Esri.

During the first half of the session, Conklin presented a list of open-source resources designed especially for developers of geospatial apps, including application builders such as Ozone and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, which are ideal for amateurs; focused applications such as Story Maps, ArcGIS Solutions, and NASA World Wind, which are ideal for intermediate developers; and APIs and utilities, such as OpenLayers, Leaflet, ArcGIS Developer APIs, and Cesium, which are ideal for advanced developers.

The session’s second half was led by David Waldrup, strategic advisor at TASC, which in January was awarded a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) contract to serve as its Application Operations Service Provider (AOSP), managing the business and technical aspects of soliciting, screening, and acquiring GEOINT apps for use by NGA customers.

“Getting commercial applications into government app stores is challenging,” acknowledged Waldrup, who introduced NGA’s Innovative GEOINT App Provider Program (IGAPP), which seeks to streamline the process of developing and deploying geospatial apps for government customers. Using IGAPP, Waldrup explained, developers can learn specific NGA needs then develop open-source apps they can monetize by selling them to NGA customers via the NGA App Store. The result is a win-win-win for developers, NGA, and NGA customers.

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