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Transforming the Next-Generation of Geospatial Analysts

It’s been ten years since the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act was signed, officially coining the term ‘GEOINT’. Today, GEOINT has become such a focus of national defence that the supply of analysts simply cannot meet the demand for imagery products. Almost every intelligence report requires, or could be enhanced by, some geospatial imagery component. As a result, geospatial intelligence software companies like ours have been hard at work developing full suites of integrated geospatial products capable of being used by any analyst, anywhere, at any time.

Rather than transforming, through retraining, all-source analysts into geospatial experts, with the right tools, we can empower these talented and experienced all-source analysts to easily extract their own imagery to complete their intelligence products, freeing up the geospatial imagery experts to focus their attention on processing and exploiting more complex geospatial data. To do this, we set out to develop a lightweight, intuitive Web-based Electronic Light Table that would enable any all-source analyst to easily locate imagery, maps, vectors or text reports so they can build their daily intelligence reports or briefings.

To address the need to locate data, we built GXP Xplorer®, which is a powerful and intelligent search and discovery application. Eliminating data replication was an essential concept for GXP Xplorer. As such, the product has the ability to ‘crawl’ all the existing data stores and catalogue the data ‘in place’. The next vital concept for GXP Xplorer was the ability to search both ‘structured’ and ‘unstructured’ data. By this, we mean the distinction between data that has a geo-tag for its location on the ground and data that does not include a geo-tag. This was important to us because the all source analysts require both types of data. Lastly, GXP Xplorer needed to have a web-based user interface so it could be accessed from any location. Once we built GXP Xplorer, we had one of the two previously identified needs met for the all source analyst. Next, we set our efforts towards creating a product to address the web-based ELT requirement.

The main hurdle with a web-based ELT is the speed of delivery of large images and maps. Our engineers determined that HTML 5 would enable us to build an architecture that could support the rapid delivery of large images. We created this new technology using the core strengths of our legacy SOCET SET® digital photogrammetric workstation and our market-leading SOCET GXP® IA/GA desktop application to create GXP WebView.

This new product displays geospatially-referenced, fullframe imagery in a web browser instantaneously, allowing for rapid visualisation, analysis, exploitation, annotation and report generation. GXP WebView enables users to interact with full-resolution, geospatially referenced imagery within an intuitive and enterprise-accessible interface. GXP WebView merges the universal accessibility of a web-based application with the reliability, accuracy and intuitive usability expected from desktop exploitation tools. It integrates the technology of photogrammetric software development experience refined over 25 years, and supports commercial and national imagery formats. Fully integrated with a catalogue, search, and discovery product such as GXP Xplorer, GXP WebView provides capabilities to view, annotate, and publish faster than order-based exploitation workflows, and empowers users throughout the enterprise to rapidly add imagery into intelligence reporting and situational awareness products.