Director on Value of GIS and Social Media and other NGA News

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield [MO] is commemorating its 150th anniversary this year - but defense officials say the civil war battleground offers timeless lessons in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) -lessons that can be applied today. ...[NGA] Agents spend three days at the battlefield and almost like a Monday morning quarterback - they ask how things would be different if armies then had this kind of technology.


Dr. Charlette "Cookie" Watkins, a Director at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, spoke to Defence IQ about the power of GIS and social media.

The idea of using social networks of geospatial enthusiasts to assess large areas of the earth for academic reasons has huge potential in the future. The recent example that comes to mind is the National Geographic sponsored event to find Genghis Khan's tomb using commercial satellite imagery and an army of geospatial volunteers on the internet. They had a virtual workforce that could be quickly trained to look for and identify simple clues that more experienced analysts could take a deeper look at. This is only a glimpse of the power of the social environment of the internet.


Currently, two [NGA] Geospatial Analysts from Stuttgart, Germany are mapping out the terrain for African Lion 2012 in southern Morocco. AL-12 is a bi-lateral exercise between U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Africa, the Utah National Guard, and the Kingdom of Morocco. It's the 8th annual African Lion exercise in the country.

The 10-day exercise includes ground, amphibious and aerial training for approximately 800 Marines, 400 Army Reservists and 900 Moroccan military. It’s spread across four geographically varied locations, to include flat deserts, vast mountain ranges, and miles and miles of coastline.

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Published Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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