The Power of Progress

Technology powers human progress, and people have a vital role


Fueled by analytic insight, innovation and disruption are occurring with accelerating speed and complexity. Technology enables change, and the fundamental needs, expectations, and desires of individuals and communities of interest are thereby globally strengthened. Technology powers human progress, and as it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, people have a vital role. This revolution is indeed human led.

As USGIF prepares to gather the community at GEOINT 2019, there is excitement in the air. Geospatial data has gone mainstream and is opening doors to opportunity and innovation. The exponential increase in geographically tagged data offers improved understanding of Earth’s complexity and promotes game-changing advances. Advanced analytic techniques are tackling previously unsolvable problems that are now amenable to new solutions when humans and artificial intelligence work together. Harnessing this power yields improved speed to decision.

As an educational foundation, we celebrate these leaps and bounds in geospatial pedagogy. In February, USGIF published version 2.0 of its GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge. Dr. Camelia Kantor, our VP of Academic Affairs, was instrumental in driving this substantive advance.

The new document leverages the knowledge of our entire community of practice, which includes industry, government, and academia with 17 USGIF-accredited colleges and universities. I was pleased to see Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s department of geography and regional planning achieve USGIF accreditation this year. Personally, this is exciting because my grandfather served as the university’s president.  

By defining curricula and offering professional certifications, USGIF strengthens and extends our community and provides value to our Organizational and Individual Members. GEOINT is an ever-evolving discipline that demands innovative and creative thought leadership to drive change. We can no longer afford to be tribal and prone to habit. The research and development among USGIF Members and the thought leadership demonstrated in our Working Groups and annual State and Future of GEOINT Report are powerful catalysts for our tradecraft to redefine the understanding of humans and their interactions on our planet. The networking and mentoring across the geospatial ecosystem remind us of the power of collaboration. These ingredients promise practitioners both exciting careers and a dynamic future helping to address real challenges.

The Foundation includes young professionals on our Board of Directors. Their insights and leadership have proven to be invaluable. Isaac Zaworski is one such example, and I thank him for his dedication and service to the Board of Directors. In addition, his leadership with the USGIF Young Professionals Group (YPG) has resulted in demonstrable dividends in workforce development. As part of our YPG portfolio, the USGIF Golden Ticket program invites 30 young professionals to join us at GEOINT 2019. Each year, all who interact with this cohort leave the exchange excited for our shared future.

USGIF will soon move its Herndon, Va., headquarters across the street to be co-located with the new Trajectory Event Center, a large, flexible conference space.

Our staff expertise has grown with Karin Fitzgerald and Ronda Schrenk bringing important capabilities and experience. The USGIF team is leveraging their skill sets and has fully integrated them into its operational cadence. USGIF will soon move our Herndon, Va., operation across the street to be co-located with the new Trajectory Event Center. This large, flexible conference space will allow us to better serve our community by providing facilities to facilitate the exchange of ideas. USGIF’s Jeff Ley has been leading the development of this new space, and we are excited for our members to see first-hand the opportunity it will provide to help us all advance tradecraft, innovation, and community.

I hope you enjoy this issue of trajectory, and I look forward to seeing you soon at GEOINT 2019.

Featured image: The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris on stage at the GEOINT 2018 Symposium.

Posted in: Vantage Point   Tagged in: 2019 Issue 2, Education, Innovation

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