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The Future of Geospatial Imagery Collection Analysis Exploitation and Exchange

Geospatial intelligence has never been more important to enabling and enhancing a wide range of national and international missions as it is today. As the sources of geospatial data are increasing, expect there to be a decrease in the concern over access and availability of data over the next five to ten years. In terms of data security, future innovations within the industry to secure the influx of data are anticipated.

The Future of Geospatial Imagery Collection Analysis Exploitation and ExchangeGIS is making a crucial difference to National Security in different environments, which ones do you think are being impacted most by the application of GIS?

From tackling the terrorist threat, to the refugee crisis, to the management of natural resources, and even planning for major sporting events like the Olympics, you’ll find GEOINT at the forefront.

The applications for GIS reach far and wide. These results show us that beyond global security, GIS also has an important role to play in mapping natural disasters and planning and managing natural resources. This is particularly important in regard to increased water shortages in the face of rapid population growth worldwide.

The Future of Geospatial Imagery Collection Analysis Exploitation and Exchange

Download the latest DGI white paper, to get the first look at our most recent research to discover how they are using GEOINT today, how they are overcoming their challenges, and what they predict for the future.

[source: dgi.wbresearch.com]

Jack Hild from Digital Globe at DGI 2013

Jack Hild, Interim Chief Information Officer for Digital Globe speaks to DGI’s Online Editor Dan Mellins-Cohen at DGI 2013 about the  use of imagery and their use of geospatial information. Context from the video included below … 

Jack Hild from Digital Globe at DGI 2013

Maybe you could tell us a bit more about your chosen topic this morning?

The presentation today really talked about the four areas of commercial imagery. It goes from looking at the advances in resolution and accuracy, which are pushing towards the limits right now. I talked a little bit about the speed, so the time it takes to take an image and then get it to a user, dramatic improvements in that over the last five years or so. Then I closed with talking about content, content is really what it’s all about these days. [Lancehead 00:00:56] started it 40 years ago, but we’re seeing more advances in sensors and more and more people are figuring out ways to manipulate all of those bands to discover new things.

So this is really, I think, one of the biggest things, this interoperability and collaboration. What are some of the biggest projects that you’re working on collaboratively and in that what some of the biggest challenges have been?

Obviously collaboration’s a huge theme here, I’ll do a real quick shout out for the NGCP, because I’ve heard so much about that over the last couple of days. Probably the best collaborative geospatial effort in the world.
From a Digitalglobe stand point, we’ve got one product that we’re really excited about, it’s called Global [Base Map 00:01:39]. If you think of individual country mosaics that are seamless, they’re gorgeous pictures of a country. Those are some of the things that we’re really focussing on.
What we’re expecting to do over the next year is move to a time where every day when images are collected, they’re merged into these country databases so that you truly get a constantly refreshing picture of the world. We think there’s a lot of opportunities both for government and commercial users for that.

I think one of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed certainly at DGI is this move that it’s become more than just defence. As you said, it’s governmental, it’s institutional, we’re suddenly seeing a lot more of the emergency services and similar getting involved. What kind of changes have you seen as one of the vendor companies?

Certainly I would agree with you, it’s been really interesting to watch the commercial. Governments are very mature in their use of imagery and their use of geospatial information. More and more we’re seeing commercial companies, who didn’t even realise that it was important, are finding that they can do their business better and more efficiently by using geospatial information.
Certainly the emergency [preparedness 00:02:49] and the emergency response [is key]. That’s one of the things that Digitalglobe can offer, is with our satellite constellation, we can get pictures quickly over emergency areas. We’ve developed some products that countries and companies have bought so that they can respond when there’s some emergency over their particular area of interest.

Importance of Big Data to Geospatial Technology

Data is becoming increasingly important. But it’s also increasing in size. Remember when a gigabyte seemed like an impossibly large concept? Such is the gargantuan size of the information that is stored and released by defence organisations; they need to be more careful than ever before with regards to how it is managed.

The topic is especially important in relation to armies and defence groups, which will have to guarantee that their statistics are heavily guarded against both online and offline threats.

Importance of Big Data  to  Geospatial Technology

Importance of Big Data  to  Geospatial TechnologyCyber crime is becoming more of a problem for internet users, with hackers developing new skills constantly, making it challenging for particularly sensitive information to be kept away from those who aim to capture it and use it in detrimental ways.

Individual computer users across the world simply need to rely on anti-virus and firewall software to combat cyber threats, but the issue is much more pronounced when it comes to larger organisations, leading to the development of the big data concept.

The phrase refers to assets that increase to an extent where they are awkward to manage using ordinary database management tools, and those in the geospatial technology field will be more than familiar with it.

Deloitte’s Verdict on Big Data

Specialists at Deloitte have commented on how big data is affecting the geospatial technology industry, noting that the services can be highly beneficial. The company claimed that organisations which merge location-aware data with geospatial analysis tools could begin to offer “game-changing support” for business decision making at levels that could never previously have been considered.

Mike Liebhold, senior researcher at the business, said that it is now easy to be excited about the number of developments that are having an impact on geospatial technology.

“Visualization, like many business efforts, should be supported by concrete objectives and well-defined questions that can benefit from geospatial analysis, and tested by those with specific experience in both analyzing and communicating location-aware data.

“Leading organisations that follow these principles to provide geospatial visualization tools to employees, business partners and even customers that allow them to explore, manipulate and act on the insights they gain, will be putting Tobler’s law to use for competitive advantage,” Mr Liebhold noted.

He urged organisations to assess their baseline, investigating existing data sources and analysis tools before comparing these with the capabilities that are necessary for efficient modelling, rendering and interacting.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Importance of Big Data  to  Geospatial Technology

Big data is a pressing issue for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and it can sometimes be easy for groups to overestimate the space required to store data. Government Computer News reported that the NGA had not utilized an entire floor of a four-storey technology centre that it began using for the purpose of data storage.

Originally, the NGA planned to use the third and fourth floors, though ultimately just the fourth was necessary. However, it appears that the third floor may actually be put to use, as the organisation has proposed a new military project to address storage needs, according to the news provider.

It expects storage requirements to grow exponentially over the next decade because of planned intelligence collection sensors, which are set to be deployed over the course of the period and increase the use of cloud computing.

New technology for geospatial activities

As time progresses, new innovations are being introduced to the geospatial technology industry, with SpaceCurve existing as one company that is pushing invention in the field. The Seattle-based business has raised $5.2 million (£3.2 million) of funding, following investment from companies such as Reed Elsevier, Divergent Ventures and Triage Ventures.

Gigaom.com has reported that the organisation is aiming to develop a system that is capable of discovering the underlying patterns of multidimensional geodata, rather than working around complexities in data values.

SpaceCurve is hoping that the system will be accessible for anyone who collects information from sensors, mobile devices or location data. Speaking to the news provider, Mr Slitz explained that it has some “major” pilot customers in its plans as it aims to further the technology and open up new possibilities in the market.

How geospatial technology is helping British and American forces

Importance of Big Data  to  Geospatial Technologyhttp://canadiangis.com/data.php

Armies and defence forces will be paying particular attention to the company’s developments, as such organisations will be among those who will gain the most benefit from new geospatial capabilities.

The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is one business that has been in close consultation with the US Army Geospatial Center (AGC) recently, with the two parties agreeing a contract to provide geospatial research, intelligence and support.

SAIC is a scientific, engineering and technology applications company that utilises deep domain knowledge to solve issues in national security, energy and environment. The deal has a one-year base period of performance and carries a total value of $200 million when all options are exercised. As a result of the agreement, the AGC will provide war fighters with timely, precise and relevant geospatial information and domain expertise that can be used to support unified land operations.

Various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payload systems will be included in the deal, among other innovations. These contain joint capabilities technology demonstrations relevant to GES and command, control, communications, computers (C4) ISR requirements.

John Fratamico, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager, said: “We look forward to continuing to provide the AGC with an end-to-end architecture capable of collecting, integrating, synchronising, managing, analysing, displaying, and disseminating geospatial information and C4ISR systems, enabling the AGC to provide direct geospatial support and products to warfighters,”

Britain is another country that is looking to advance its geospatial capabilities, as the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has accepted Roke Manor Research’s Electronic Surveillance and Countermeasures system.

The Electronic Warfare Manpack service will be used as a full core capability in the British Army and Royal Marines. Gavin O’Connell, business development manager at Roke said: “Roke was originally selected to supply EW Manpack equipment in response to the MoD’s Urgent Operational Requirement for its SEER programme in Afghanistan.

“The decision to deploy this system wider and make it a core capability in the British Army and Royal Marines is testament to the advantage that it has been delivering our troops.”


 

Big data and all the topics covered in this article will be under debate at DGI – Europe’s leading geospatial intelligence event, 21-23 January 2013, London.

The DGI Conference & Exhibition brings together heads of defence geospatial intelligence, remote sensing, GIS data & mapping, satellite imagery and analysis within the military, governmental, and geo intelligence sectors. It attracts professionals who are responsible for using, and integrating, geo based capabilities in their operations and organizations. Attended by over 800 Geo professionals, DGI is where the geospatial intelligence community comes together.

To join them, and to find out more ,visit DGIeurope.com or check back to CanadianGIS.com for more DGI Conference & Exhibition updates.

[Paper submitted & published on behalf of DGI]

 

Do DigitalGlobe and GeoEye Complete each other?

Do DigitalGlobe and GeoEye Complete each other?

Yes. At least that’s what Walter Scott, founder of DigitalGlobe, thinks about the companies’ proposed merger. OK, the combined entity will be known as DigitalGlobe, but while this looks on the face of it to be a thinly veiled buyout, title aside this cannot be much farther from the truth. If one actually looks at the various terms of the deal and its benefits to the companies, it is increasingly looking like GeoEye is the missing piece in DigitalGlobe’s puzzle.

DigitalGlobe and GeoEyeWhile there is no doubt that the merger will certainly help the companies in many ways, one cannot but help wonder if the deal got its final push after the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) elected to cut GeoEye’s share of a 10-year contract vehicle called EnhancedView, Oh, and DigitalGlobe’s part of the contract has been left intact. The terms of the deal and how it affects the companies will be discussed later, but first the benefits.

There is no doubt that combining the synergies of the two companies will certainly open up new revenue streams for each while also bolstering their offerings. One very important advantage is that while both the companies rely on the US government for 60% of their revenues, the combined entity will draw only around 50% of its revenues from the US government, helping the companies diversify their revenue streams. DigitalGlobe’s Scott expects the merged company to be able to manage its total satellite constellation more efficiently, while also taking advantage of the capabilities of each of the sensors. To quote Scott, “…in some aspects 1+1 is more than 2.”

There are other advantages available to the combined entity as mentioned by GeoEye CEO Matt O’Connell was the satellite imagery business outside the US, while also allowing it to compete with other collection methods, such as aerial imagery collected from UAVs. Scott even added that the deal enables the companies to be in a better position to compete against foreign government-subsidised systems like France’s Astrium.

Now coming back to the contract, GeoEye is currently negotiating conditions of NGA’s remaining $70 million in cost-share payments related to the GeoEye-2 satellite scheduled for launch in early 2013. The NGA has proposed to renew EnhancedView for just three months starting in September, with a nine-month option to be exercised subject to the availability of funds. The deal would see NGA pay GeoEye $39.75 million over the three months beginning September 1, and an additional $119.25 million over the following nine months if funds are available.

The original contract would have paid GeoEye $12.5 million per month from NGA until GeoEye-2 was deemed fully operational around September 2013, following which the monthly payment amount would increase to $27.8 million. The modified contract calls for $70 million in co-payments for GeoEye-2’s construction to be linked to a new series of milestones that GeoEye is fine with.

According to GeoEye CFO Joseph Greeves, the GeoEye-2 construction is still expected to cost between $820 million and $850 million including launch and insurance, with GeoEye having committed $718 million to the project so far. The problem here is that the NGA had previously told GeoEye that the agency may not be able to follow up on its earlier commitment that it would pay $337 million in GeoEye- 2 costs as it was no longer viable, adding that the $181.2 million already approved would probably be the final payment.

While O’Connell expects the final 2013 budget to take “months,” House and Senate are set to put in place a “Continuing Resolution” temporary spending measure to fund the US government at 2012 levels through March 2013. However, O’Connell expects a six-month Continuing Resolution to have “unknown consequences” on the EnhancedView budget. It would be interesting to see how the outcomes of the NGA deal and the proposed M&A deal with DigitalGlobe impact GeoEye, given that GeoEye is continuing to compete with DigitalGlobe on other projects such as the NGA’s GeoInt Data Services business, a five-year contract vehicle for which GeoEye is bidding as part of a team of other contractors.

However, GeoEye is not entirely at the receiving end of the deal as its projects such as its exclusive relationship that provides Google with the “all GeoEye-1 imagery in the Internet search engine space for the next several years,” will continue after the merger along with all other GeoEye contracts.

In spite of all these pros and cons, the deal still has to get many approvals, not the least from the companies’ shareholders, not to mention that of the regulators. But if it does go ahead, will the whole be greater than the sum of its parts?  Sadly, geospatial intelligence may have come along way, but it still can’t predict the future, so only time will tell…


 

Meet DigitalGlobe and GeoEye at DGI – Europe’s leading geospatial intelligence event, 21-23 January 2013, London.

The DGI Conference & Exhibition brings together heads of defence geospatial intelligence, remote sensing, GIS data & mapping, satellite imagery and analysis within the military, governmental, and geo intelligence sectors. It attracts professionals who are responsible for using, and integrating, geo based capabilities in their operations and organizations. Attended by over 800 Geo professionals, DGI is where the geospatial intelligence community comes together.

To join them, and to find out more ,visit DGIeurope.com or check back to CanadianGIS.com for more DGI Conference & Exhibition updates.

[Paper submitted & published on behalf of DGI]