New Delhi, India: Fusion strategy is crucial for geointelligence (GEOINT), observed Dr R Ramchandran, Centre Director, National Technical Research Organisation, India. Dr. Ramchandran was chairperson of the plenary session, Geospatial Intelligence: Managing Emerging Threats, during Geointelligence Asia 2011 in New Delhi, India. Dr Ramchandran elaborated that the word ‘fusion’ should be interpreted as an ‘alloy’ not ‘mixture’.
Later on, Col Sunil Mishra, Director, Battlefield Management System, Directorate General of Information Systems, Indian Army, explained that geoint is amalgamation of different type of intelligence like Information Management Intelligence (IMINT), Community Intelligence (COMINT), Human intelligence (HUMIT). Col Mishra defined geoint as “the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the earth.” He opined that geoint enables users to go beyond traditional thinking. For instance, search for Osama Bin Laden was not only confined to along Kabul border, it reached Abbottabad which is far from the border.
According to Patrick Warfle, Director of Military Support, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), US, geoint provides answers for a set of questions. The questions include: where am I, where are the natural and man-made structures, how do I navigate them, what does the area look like now, what activities are taking place there and what might it look like after an event?
Patrick said that to comply with NGA’s mission; to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geoint in support of national security; NGA offers online and on-demand access of geospatial data. He stated that today, users have become producers as well. Patrick elaborated the new and emerging platform of geoint like social networking websites, crowd sourcing and human as sensors which provide crucial information. He also presented some of the case studies for instance, geoint helped track H1N1 virus in 2009 and geoint confirmed Darfur (in Sudan) atrocities.
John Day, Director – Defence Esri, US, said futuristic GIS is creating the illusion of simplicity. GIS is going beyond a single analytical workstation to providing an eco-system to support measurement, storage, analysis, visualisation, planning, decision making and so on. There are many forces that are converging right now for instance, computing continues to evolve. Measurement is now about real-time measurement and more sensor networks. “In addition, we have another dimension of data: crowd sourcing from people and citizens coming in to GIS. GIS software is also evolving along and becoming more sophisticated. At the same time, it’s coevolving with geographic science, understanding of relationships and patterns and processes, extending into networks,” Day added. Day observed that governments around the world are beginning to open up now. Open data policies are providing underpinnings for this information to come together. They are creating a kind of collective geographic understanding and opening the world to everyone.
Air Cdre (Retd) Mark Ashwell, Vice President International Strategy and Business Development, DigitalGlobe, US, talked about DigitalGlobe’s GEOINT solutions for the users. According to Air Cdre (Retd) Ashwell, under the part of cloud services, DigitalGlobe offers WFS enabled search and discovery across its entire image library. WMS, WMTS & Earth Services provide rapid delivery of tiled imagery to compatible devices and applications including Google and Microsoft. He demonstrated power of 8 bands in vegetation analysis.
Source: Our Correspondent