Rich Basket of Tool Kits: Industry players are continually updating their geospatial exploitation tool kits to meet ongoing challenges
Excerpts from feature article published in Geospatial Intelligence Forum, September 2010
“In our world, analysts have traditionally used the desktop,” said Mark Sarojak, BAE Systems’ director of global sales and marketing for SOCET GXP. “It was the best and only environment to do heavy number crunching. Now we see more enterprise applications where operations can be handled on a centralized server while the analyst sits at a desktop.”
The non-stop forward march of technology has created new horizons for the collection, analysis and exploitation of geospatial intelligence. The availability of full motion video, persistent surveillance data, satellite imagery, LiDAR and other new data types is providing analysts with the potential for unparalleled richness and accuracy to the images and information they are dissecting.
But perhaps the most important drivers to the innovations being fostered in geospatial exploitation are the needs of warfighters in current U.S. military areas of operation. More than ever, geospatial intelligence is being brought to bear in support of tactical operations, and this has challenged providers of geospatial exploitation tool kits to catch up.
From these facts flow the other major trends to be found in the development of geospatial exploitation technology. New types of data to be exploited lead to the desire to fuse that information by layering one set of data on top of another accurately and robustly. This in turn has accelerated the drive toward the development and adoption of data standards to make that happen, as well as the move toward taking an enterprise, as opposed to a desktop, approach to geospatial data and applications.
… BAE Systems recently introduced GXP Xplorer, which addresses the first step in analyzing geospatial intelligence—finding the data. “If they can’t find data, analysts can’t do their jobs,” said Sarojak. “Once they find it they want to fuse it. Each data type has its strengths and weaknesses.” GXP Xplorer enables analysts to search not only their local catalogs but also other sources of available data, such as those stored on enterprise applications or on network accessible libraries, by enabling federated queries across multiple sources.
“Another new feature of BAE System’s offering is spatially enabled exploitation. This feature essentially digitizes and stores analysts’ markups of imagery by geolocation, data and time so that they can be retrieved and exploited at some future date. “Spatially enabled exploitation is new in the analysts’ world,” said Sarojak. “It takes analysis to next level. That is real knowledge and content management.”
Video exploitation is now available in SOCET GXP, but will receive greater emphasis, together with fusion of multiple data types, in SOCET GXP’s upcoming v3.2 release. “Analysts are faced with more and more data every year,” said Sarojak. “We are working hard to produce tools that enable them to find data locally and on other sources to help them accomplish their jobs.”