Geospatial Technologies Find Their Place in Planning

Geospatial data ties information to a location. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) layers this location data over any other data set, creating some important insight for public policy, infrastructure, and citizen service planning in a number of areas.

  • Sustainability - perhaps the most obvious use of geospatial data is in helping understand the current environment. With a view of air quality, tree cover, water levels, and more, communities can not only monitor ongoing changes but model what impact new construction or programs could have on an area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created an interactive map to help state and local leaders understand the environmental burdens on their communities' health. Combining 36 health, social and environmental indicators, the application assigns an environmental justice score per census tract. This allows officials to see and then prioritize action for vulnerable areas. If a local government is looking to add a manufacturing plant, they can not only see what current pollution levels are, but can also determine if an area is made up of largely non-English speakers so that they know how best to communicate and involve the community in decisions about the plant.
  • Policing - The Justice Department is looking for proposals that apply geospatial data to track criminal activity affecting businesses and neighborhoods. Understanding where and when incidents occur and who may be involved helps police departments target patrols and implement programs that can help prevent incidents.
  • Public health - The Washington Department of Health's GeoHUB layers various department datasets over location information. Geospatial information helps pinpoint access to services across the state. Staff can analyze the state's transportation network and the location of, say, dialysis facilities to identify where residents do not have easy access. Presenting this information on a map makes it more digestible than having to parse out information from multiple charts and graphs.
  • Elections - State elections divisions use geospatial information and systems to enhance the efficiency and utility of election systems. A huge problem is ensuring addresses are correctly aligned to the right precincts so when people register to vote they are assigned the right polling place. Precinct lines are changed on the local level while registration frequently happens at the state level. Mapping addresses with precincts in real time allows for more accurate assignments.

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Building the Case for Software Factories

The term "software factories" conjures up images of pristinely clean technology assembly lines with super-efficient singularly focused line workers. In reality, a software factory is not a place, but rather a process for improving the speed of software development and release. A software factory provides a repeatable, well-defined path to create and update software. As the name implies, a software factory applies manufacturing techniques and principles to software development. This means software factories provide templates, playbooks, and reusable code that people across the organization can use to quickly create new applications.

With DevOps and agile software development methods as a basis, a software factory combines tools, teams, and practices to standardize and reuse code, building upon accumulated knowledge. Organizations using software factories not only speed up software delivery but find that software is of higher quality being built on proven code. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Highlights From GEOINT2013 Symposium

Originally posted on GovDataDownload

The recent GEOINT 2013* Symposium, which took place in mid-April, was a great opportunity for government agencies and industry representatives  to share ideas and best practices, according to Greg Gardner, chief architect for government, defense, and Intel solutions for NetApp's U.S. Public Sector. Gardner spoke with GovDataDownload about his key takeaways from the recent show.

GEOINT2013* was so named because last year's symposium was cancelled due to sequestration and budget cuts. This year's make-up conference, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, was a busy one.  Industry, the Intelligence Community and Special Operations Commands all were in attendance and well-represented.

The keynote address by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper set a framework for the show. He debunked many of the myths surrounding the recent Snowden leaks and discussed the impact they have had on the Intelligence community.

Director Letitia Long of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) shared her vision for the agency during GEOINT and outlined its architecture and the five tenets of how they do business.  Gardner said that one of the most interesting aspects of her speech involved both a vision for immersive intelligence as well as the ways in which activity-based intelligence affects the Intelligence Community.

The Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise  (DI2E) panel addressed the ways in which they are integrating IC-ITE and JIE in a manner that optimizes secure information sharing.

Hear more from Gardner about GEOINT2013* here.

GEOINT 2013*: Operationalizing Intelligence for Global Missions

The GEOINT Symposium--the nation's largest intelligence event of the year--will take place April 14-17, 2014, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla. The annual GEOINT Symposium, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), attracts thousands of attendees from government, military, industry, and academia worldwide.

This year, the GEOINT Symposium promises another agenda packed with high-profile keynote speakers, insightful panel discussions, engaging training offerings, and a world-class exhibit hall.  In addition to the more than 250 exhibiting organizations offering 100,000 square feet of technologies, services and solutions, GEOINT 2013* will provide 30 hours of training and education sessions, four panel sessions on key community topics, and 11 keynote speakers including directors of intelligence agencies and combatant commanders.

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