US, October 21, 2014: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) released gamification software code earlier this week on GitHub, an open-source, collaborative software development environment.The GeoQ software was developed at the NGA in collaboration with The MITRE Corporation.
The software gives awards or badges to users and operates as a standalone application or can be integrated with other Web-based applications to increase learning, processing and output. The gamification-server is implemented as a django python web service and associated web application.
"Government game development efforts are exponentially on the rise today,” said NGA Director Robert Cardillo. “The current generation of professionals is discovering the collaborative learning power of using games in standard business practices, and the newer generation is already familiar with how these new technologies are powerful learning tools.”
NGA’s gamification software also provides a customisable Web interface for displaying badges and a configurable rules engine that translates actions performed by users into awards, said Ray Bauer, an NGA information technology innovation lead.
“We recently successfully used the software during an NGA senior leader training session to engage the group and show levels of individual expertise and progress to each other as they accomplished the training mission,” said Bauer.
Incorporating aspects of gaming into day-to-day analysis and activities can inspire new approaches and innovation among all levels of staff, said Bauer.
“The use of badging and awards recognizes what achievements matter most based on agency priorities, and rewards the user in the context of their work,” said Bauer.
NGA launched its GitHub account in April 2014 and has released eight open source software packages on the platform, including GeoQ, an open-source geographic tasking system that allows teams to collect geographic structured observations across a large area, but manage the work in smaller geographic regions.