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///Long Paints Compelling Intelligence Picture

Long Paints Compelling Intelligence Picture

At a conference stacked with high-profile keynote speakers, informative break-out sessions, and an exhibit hall full of innovative industry experts, attendees at the GEOINT 2013* Symposium have had their choice of attractions and activities to fill their time. One highlight, however, was the keynote speech on Tuesday morning by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia A. Long, addressing the importance of immersive intelligence and the future of geospatial data analysis.

“NGA is at a decisive moment in our history. NGA is driving intelligence integration, and NGA is leading the way from integration to the next phase of intelligence,” she began. Over the past several years, NGA has worked tirelessly to pursue its goals of intelligence integration, putting GEOINT in the hands of user, providing online, on-demand access to GEOINT, and broadening their analytic expertise. “Today I can say without any doubt, we are achieving our goals. We have crossed the tipping point in realizing our vision.”

At a conference stacked with high-profile keynote speakers, informative break-out sessions, and an exhibit hall full of innovative industry experts, attendees at the GEOINT 2013* Symposium have had their choice of attractions and activities to fill their time. One highlight, however, was the keynote speech on Tuesday morning by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia A. Long, addressing the importance of immersive intelligence and the future of geospatial data analysis.

“NGA is at a decisive moment in our history. NGA is driving intelligence integration, and NGA is leading the way from integration to the next phase of intelligence,” she began. Over the past several years, NGA has worked tirelessly to pursue its goals of intelligence integration, putting GEOINT in the hands of user, providing online, on-demand access to GEOINT, and broadening their analytic expertise. “Today I can say without any doubt, we are achieving our goals. We have crossed the tipping point in realizing our vision.”

Incredible momentum is driving geospatial intelligence forward, Long said, and through worldwide cooperation between international partners, federal entities, industry and academia, great achievements have been made possible across the scope of geospatially-driven missions. This momentum is irreversible, she said, and NGA must use it to drive the leading edge of GEOINT and deliver next phase of intelligence: immersion.

“By immersion I mean living, interacting and experimenting with the data in a multimedia, multi-sensory experience with GEOINT at its core. Immersion will break down the barriers between collectors, analysts, customers and decision-makers. Living together in this experience, they will share rich content and robust expertise. Their more meaningful, more predictive insights will occur on a scale we could not have imagined just a few years ago.”

Long acknowledged that this is an ambitious vision, one that will require NGA to continue its transformation from a provider of static GEOINT products to a resource for dynamic tools and capabilities. Chief in this effort are six key pillars of immersive intelligence that will work together to create an integrated intelligence enterprise. These pillars are:

  • The map of the world: a seamless environment of GEOINT content providing an integrated intelligence picture
  • Analytic capabilities focused on structuring content and developing advanced tools
  • Next-generation collection that transforms how and why data is assembled, prioritizing persistent collection driven by need anticipation
  • The globe: a data access touchpoint to deliver unified, dynamic GEOINT content and services on demand
  • An open IT enterprise to create a GEOINT based environment for intelligence integration
  • Research and technology investments in various avenues to drive innovation, focused on three building blocks of persistence, anticipatory analysis and immersive intelligence.


These pillars bring to bear the power of GEOINT to discover the unknown and make faster predictive insights, according to Long. They will guide the path toward immersive intelligence—but what will change once that phase is reached, and how will its impact be felt?

In this phase of immersive intelligence, analysts will “live in the data and collaborate through a variety of virtual environments,” Long said. She then detailed a vision for the operations of a team of future analysts tasked with anticipating the impacts of civil unrest in another country. At the beginning of the mission, an automated dating mining app gives warnings of troop anomalies and overnight protests to the analyst and team. Teammates gather in a virtual meeting space, sharing and organizing assorted content from map of the world using natural interfaces.

Then, the team applies advanced analytic tools to discover a critical unknown and identify extremists planning to infiltrate the protests. Analysts are able to visualize the story and make the discovery immediately available to key leaders, uploading their content to map of the world. After interfacing with the combatant commander and providing predictive analysis, the team is later able to watch a live video feed of the extremists being captured.

“We are making this dream a reality,” Long said. “We are driving the next phase so that our ability to predict and warn becomes the norm, not the exception.” Providing this cutting-edge analysis will give decision makers what they really need: more advanced warning and more options for action. This in turn will lead to greater mission success. In order to take advantage of this capability and advance to the next phase of intelligence, collaboration is key.

“The powerful forces shaping our world today are driving our momentum toward intelligence integration, and our momentum is revealing the enormous potential of immersion,” she concluded. “We must come together as a unified community to realize this potential. Only together can we maximize our strengths. Only together can we turn our great ideas into great results. And only together can we see what our adversaries cannot, know what we should know, and act first.” ♦

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:37
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