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NGA Inducts GEOINT Pioneers into Hall of Fame

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Thursday, May 8th 2014

May 6, 2014, SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency inducted four innovators into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony this afternoon at the agency’s headquarters in Springfield, Virginia.

Steven Hall, Ray Helmering, Ph.D., the late Marie Tharp and Steven Wallach were added to the Hall of Fame by NGA Director Letitia A. Long.  She said, “The NGA Hall of Fame is our way of honoring the women and men that helped build this agency on a foundation of leadership, integrity and ingenuity.”

 The inductees were selected based on one or more of the following criteria:

·   Significant accomplishment in one of NGA’s predecessor agencies. 

·   Accomplishments that helped transform NGA operations. 

·   Legacy of leadership that exemplifies the NGA tradition and core values. 

·   Technological or analytical improvements that helped improve U.S. government geospatial intelligence operations.

Katy Smith, chairman of NGA Alumni Association (NGAA) said, "These inductees to the NGA Hall of Fame exemplify the history of technical leadership and accomplishment that has provided the foundation for today’s GEOINT capabilities. NGAA was very pleased to be able to contribute to this year’s nomination process.”


Steven Hall helped lead an effort to digitize NGA’s maritime safety of navigation charts and maritime publications. His leadership helped the agency meet the warfighter’s needs for digital data in a world that had just begun to transition from paper to digital maps.

Ray Helmering, Ph.D., helped develop imagery and photographic solutions that underlie digital geospatial products and information that NGA uses today and that contributed to the rise of satellite remote sensing in the private sector. Helmering also notably provided technical leadership to the Apollo lunar mapping project co-sponsored by NASA. That project generated the most precise lunar maps ever produced at the time.

The late Marie Tharp produced the first map of the ocean floor, establishing her as a pioneer in the fields of bathymetry and marine cartography. Her accomplishments set the foundation for all current ocean mapping and led to major advances in ocean science and maritime safety of navigation. 

Steven P. Wallach had a long and distinguished career providing geospatial intelligence to partners in the defense and intelligence communities. Among his many contributions to the geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, field, Wallach led a study that sparked the effort to map 80 percent of the Earth’s surface in collaboration with NASA. 

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. Both an intelligence agency and combat support agency, NGA enables the U.S. intelligence community and the Department of Defense (DOD) to fulfill the president’s national security priorities. NGA also is the lead federal agency for GEOINT and manages a global consortium of more than 400 commercial and government relationships. NGA is headquartered in Springfield, Virginia, and has two major locations in St. Louis and Arnold, Missouri. Hundreds of NGA employees serve on support teams at U.S. military, diplomatic and allied locations around the world.

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