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July 12, 2010
Redlands, CaliforniaEsri and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announce the formation of a strategic alliance to strengthen national geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) capabilities.
The agreement was signed in June by U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Robert B. Murrett, NGA director, and Jack Dangermond, Esri president. The alliance will provide a framework to advance the strategic goals and objectives of the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) in geospatial sciences and systems and computer science.
This new strategic alliance is meant to support the strategies and goals Murrett set last year to ensure the interoperability and reliability and improve the quality of NSG products and services.
"We have successfully collaborated with the NGA for more than two decades," said Dangermond. "This new initiative will permit us to continue working together on projects that will use and improve on geospatial technology, thereby strengthening our country's national security. We are honored to partner with NGA in this important endeavor."
The mission of the NGA—which combines aspects such as technology, data, people, and policies needed to produce GEOINT—is to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence to support national security. The NSG is a unified community of GEOINT experts, producers, and users organized around the goal of integrating technology, policies, capabilities, and doctrine to produce GEOINT in a multi-intelligence environment. The NGA, as the functional manager for the NSG, provides strategic thinking, guidance, and direction to the intelligence community concerning all aspects of GEOINT, from acquisition to utilization. The NGA collaborates with its mission partners to ensure that accurate and timely GEOINT is a part of decision making and operations where and when it is needed.
The agreement underscores the critical role geospatial technology plays in GEOINT within the national security community, which provides geographic information system (GIS) products, services, and analysis to intelligence officers and decision makers. GIS continues to evolve in national security. Originally restricted to technical analysts working on the desktop, the technology is now available throughout the community in Web-enabled enterprise applications.
Agencies, allies, and coalition partners increasingly rely on GIS to share geospatial data and products with one another within this worldwide network. This is increasingly important in intelligence, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and humanitarian operations. The GEOINT system—cloud computing, mobile environments, Web, and embedded geospatial capabilities—requires robust enterprise software that supports the global information grid. Esri's research and development in these areas provide the technical leadership needed to deliver critical geospatial support to meet these requirements of the intelligence communities' fast-paced mission.
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