Behind the Curtain: GEOINT 2019

The GEOINT Symposium is the nation's largest gathering of geospatial intelligence stakeholders from across industry, academia, and government. Hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), the event has become the gathering place for 4,000+ members of the worldwide geospatial community.

Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) was recognized as a discipline in the mid 1990s when the imagery and mapping disciplines were combined into a single DoD agency that was later re-named the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The combination proved that together, these two technologies provided an incredible opportunity for new intelligence and analysis. The term "GEOINT" was coined by the honorable James Clapper and a community of mapping and imagery intelligence analysts began to grow.

The first GEOINT Symposium was held in a hotel meeting room with the expectation of 100 attendees, but even that first event drew many more to the standing room-only sessions. Since then, the Symposium has grown year after year to become the flagship event for networking and professional development among the defense and intelligence communities and others who use geospatial technology including first responders, law enforcement, and beyond.

The GEOINT 2019 Symposium will be held June 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas, and as always features high-ranking civilian and military officers, technology executives, and day-to-day practitioners sharing the newest trends, technologies, and successes. The GEOINT 2019 theme is "Human-Machine Teaming & Innovation Yield Mission Success." With machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) being hot buzzwords, many analysts are left wondering where they fit into a changing technological and cultural landscape. The sessions at this year's event will explore the human-machine dynamic and how AI and ML augment analysts rather than replace them.

NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert D. Sharp will provide an overview of the trajectory he envisions for NGA. Sue Gordon, principal deputy director of national intelligence, and Lisa Porter, deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering, will give back-to-back keynote addresses to outline the work and challenges in their respective agencies.

Panel discussions include exploring the role of GEOINT in response to the recent California wildfires and the role geospatial technology can play in being more predictive of future events. Another panel brings together CIOs from across the Intelligence Community to discuss how GEOINT fits into their planning and strategy. The event will also feature a look at St. Louis, Missouri, and the resources the city offers as it continues to grow into a center of excellence for the geospatial community.

In addition to the main stage presentations, the GEOINT 2019 exhibit floor also features a wide variety of exciting content and demonstrations. Each day, government speakers will take to the Government Pavilion Stage in the exhibit hall to dive into specific technology implementations as well as to lead process and policy discussions. Similarly, the Innovation Corner in the exhibit hall will host lightning talks that provide quick snapshots of how GEOINT is moving missions forward.

Exhibitors are also getting more involved with educational initiatives in the exhibit hall. Carahsoft, a trusted government IT solutions provider, hosts a partner pavilion each year at the GEOINT Symposium. This year, Carahsoft's pavilion (booth #617) will feature 40+ vendors with wide-ranging technologies and solutions. As every customer challenge likely requires multiple solutions, this set-up allows attendees to talk to multiple vendors at once and begin discussions about interoperability and integration of technologies. The Carahsoft team will be available to guide attendees to the vendors that have the insight needed to meet their challenges and mission needs.

The Carahsoft pavilion will also provide a venue for demos, presentations, and one-on-one meetings. The pavilion will have live demos running throughout the event, including drones, 3D printers, laser scanning into 3D models, advanced image processing applications, and the latest AI/ML technology. IT solutions providers including security, cloud, and data analytics experts will also have demonstrations and discussions showing how to apply these technologies in government IT environments.

For more information on GEOINT 2019 click here.

Thanks to Ronda Schrenk, Vice President of Programs at USGIF, and Lacey Wean, Geospatial Manager with Carahsoft Technology Corp., for sharing the inside scoop on this year's event.

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