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Soldiering On - GEOINT 2013

Joe Peters

Next week, a number of my colleagues will be heading to Tampa, Florida, for the annual GEOINT Symposium, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF). The GEOINT Symposium is the nation’s largest intelligence event of the year. The USGIF is dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and building a stronger GEOINT community across industry, academia, government, professional organizations, and individual stakeholders.

With the government shutdown now moving into its second week, it’s looking more and more like this year’s GEOINT Symposium will see some sort of reduction in attendance. This is a bit of a shame, but the show must go on. As the Chief Executive Officer of the USGIF put it:

We are not a Community that shrinks in the face of adversity. It is our duty and responsibility to approach challenges with appropriate perspective and overcome the obstacles to insuring that we, collectively, become more adept at Operationalizing Intelligence for Global Missions. Our adversaries won’t take a pause in plotting threats to our Nation, nor are our young men and women in harm’s way around the globe able to call a “time out” while our government fails to pass appropriations. So, we must endeavor to drive on and do our best for the security of the Nation and our allies.

The concept of needing to push on and do more with less is not something that started with the recent government shutdown. The past several years have seen large budget cuts, sequestration, furloughs, and the like. These are terms that we have become all too familiar with. Fortunately, with recent innovations in geospatial technologies, there are a number of ways in which we can accomplish more with less – and do it faster.

To me, the most obvious solution for accomplishing more with less would be the implementation of an enterprise, or cloud, computing architecture. By centralizing the deployment and management of applications, tools, and data, more analysis can be performed with smaller IT budgets and fewer resources. With IT budgets shrinking, it’s important that we are making the most out of what we do buy. An enterprise architecture entails gathering the data and the software that people use in an organization into a centralized location. This allows us to better track and administer the resources needed to accomplish a task. With an enterprise architecture, we can scale our processing power up or down to meet actual needs - drastically reducing the administrative overhead associated with maintaining countless individual desktop machines and the software and data on them.

My guess is that enterprise computing and analysis will be front and center at this year’s GEOINT Symposium. At Exelis Visual Information Solutions, we have been working on a number of solutions based on our ENVI Services Engine product that help reduce the amount of time spent pre-processing and analyzing data by automating image analysis functions in a scalable environment. The Services Engine’s RESTful architecture also means that it can be easily integrated into your existing infrastructure. If you are planning to attend this year’s GEOINT Symposium, please stop by our booth and see for yourself how some of these solutions might work for you.

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