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New Research Directions for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) within the Department of Defense has the primary mission of providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information--collectively known as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)--in support of national security. In support of its mission, NGA sponsors research that builds the scientific The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) within the Department of Defense has the primary mission of providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information--collectively known as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)--in support of national security. In support of its mission, NGA sponsors research that builds the scientific foundation for geospatial intelligence and that reinforces the academic base, thus training the next generation of NGA analysts while developing new approaches to analytical problems. Historically, NGA has supported research in five core areas: (1) photogrammetry and geomatics, (2) remote sensing and imagery science, (3) geodesy and geophysics, (4) cartographic science, and (5) geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. Positioning NGA for the future is the responsibility of the InnoVision Directorate, which analyzes intelligence trends, technological advances, and emerging customer and partner concepts to provide cutting-edge technology and process solutions. At the request of InnoVision, the National Research Council (NRC) held a 3-day workshop to explore the evolution of the five core research areas and to identify emerging disciplines that may improve the quality of geospatial intelligence over the next 15 years. This workshop report offers a potential research agenda that would expand NGA's capabilities and improve its effectiveness in providing geospatial intelligence.


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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) within the Department of Defense has the primary mission of providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information--collectively known as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)--in support of national security. In support of its mission, NGA sponsors research that builds the scientific The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) within the Department of Defense has the primary mission of providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information--collectively known as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)--in support of national security. In support of its mission, NGA sponsors research that builds the scientific foundation for geospatial intelligence and that reinforces the academic base, thus training the next generation of NGA analysts while developing new approaches to analytical problems. Historically, NGA has supported research in five core areas: (1) photogrammetry and geomatics, (2) remote sensing and imagery science, (3) geodesy and geophysics, (4) cartographic science, and (5) geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. Positioning NGA for the future is the responsibility of the InnoVision Directorate, which analyzes intelligence trends, technological advances, and emerging customer and partner concepts to provide cutting-edge technology and process solutions. At the request of InnoVision, the National Research Council (NRC) held a 3-day workshop to explore the evolution of the five core research areas and to identify emerging disciplines that may improve the quality of geospatial intelligence over the next 15 years. This workshop report offers a potential research agenda that would expand NGA's capabilities and improve its effectiveness in providing geospatial intelligence.

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