A Paradigm Shift in Geospatial Intelligence


The broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in
listen-only mode. Hello, and welcome to another
Directions Media webinar, sponsored by the Pennsylvania
State University. Today’s webinar focus is A
Paradigm Shift in Geospatial Intelligence. Hello. My name is Joe Francica. I’m the editor-in-chief of
Directions Media, and I will be your host, along with Wes
Stroh from Penn State, who will be your moderator. We appreciate everybody taking
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do that on demand. So let me give you a little
background on what I believe the takeaways are from
today’s webinar. We’re going to address the
trade craft of geospatial intelligence. And if it wasn’t clear from
the announcements, we are specifically offering
presentations today in the category of the defense and
military intelligence arena. And let me start by making a
few observations about our technology sector. Geospatial information is
front and center now for intelligence gathering. From satellites to cellphones,
we are gathering information with a geographic reference, and
as such, these data must be distilled and analyzed. Our appetite for geospatial
information will not slow down. We have military commanders
talking about persistent surveillance. That’s real time, airborne,
unmanned aerial vehicle imagery feeds. The data storage demands on that
will be tremendous, and as such, the analysis will be
in great demand as well. There will be an increase in
demand for a highly-skilled geospatial workforce in the
intelligence industry. In fact, the Department of Labor
is predicting that we’ll need over 330,000 workers
trained in a variety of geospatial professions over
the next 10 years. So how will the geospatial
intelligence trade craft grow and evolve? Well, let me just say this. The former director of the
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is now
the Director of National Intelligence, the person
who coordinates all intelligence-gathering. Be assured that geospatial
technology will continue to play a major role in the
evolution of the trade craft, and an essential part of
ground forces and field operations in the battlefield. I’d like to introduce now Wes
Stroh, our moderator for today’s webinar. Wes is an instructor for the
Nature of Geographic Data, the introductory course in Penn
State’s Online Certificate and Masters program, and a lead
author and instructor on a new course under development called
Location Intelligence for Business, which I
had the pleasure of being part of as well. Wes is pursuing his Ph.D. in
Geography at Penn State, and has also completed an MS
at Penn State as well. His background is wide and
diverse in areas such as technical sales and marketing
for a variety of organizations, including AT&T,
Coach, and Eddie Bauer. And his research interests
include marketing and business intelligence. Wes, it’s a pleasure to have
you as today’s moderator. I’m going to hand it all
over to you today. Thanks, Joe. And thanks again. We’re pleased to be bringing
this second webinar in the series jointly with Directions
Media, and we’re certainly enjoying crafting
each of these. I’m pleased to be able to
introduce an interesting agenda, I think, to the
audience today. The talk is titled, A Paradigm
Shift in Geospatial Intelligence, and we’re going
to lead off our panel today with my colleague, Todd Bacastow
here at Penn State. Following Todd, we’re going to
bring Ted Cope on, and Ted is going to address the issue of,
is the community prepared for the new normal? We’ll find out a little bit more
about this new normal in just a minute. Following Ted, I’ll bring
on Sue Kalweit from Booz Allen Hamilton. And Sue is going to address the
question that, if we’re having these changes and the
community needs to be prepared, well, then how can we
prepare ourselves, in terms of professional development
for the changes? And then, of course, we’re going
to open up at the end for a question and answer. And I’m pleased, at that point
then, to welcome to our panel, Max Baber from the USGIF. Let’s go ahead and turn to the
first item in our agenda. And before we turn to Todd, I’d
like you just turn to your interface and take a look
at, you should have a little hand button. Raise your hand, if you attended
the 2010 GEOINT Symposium in New Orleans. Just go ahead and
raise your hand. Let me give you all just
a couple more seconds. OK. I’m a little surprised
by that number. It’s kind of staying flat at
right around 5% or 6%. So it sounds like, in terms of
our audience today, we’ve got certainly a handful of folks who
are probably very familiar with the content of
today’s call. But there’s probably going to
be a number of folks to whom this is new information. Well, I’m pleased to present my
colleague, Todd Bacastow. Todd is going to, again as
I mentioned, bring us an introduction to
contextualization to this topic of paradigm shift and
geospatial intelligence. Todd is the Professor of
Practice for Geospatial Intelligence here
at Penn State. He’s also the director and lead
faculty member of our own Graduate Certificate in
Geospatial Intelligence. And that program is an option
in both the Masters of Geographic Information Systems
here at Penn State, as well as the Professional Master
of Homeland Security. Prior to academia, Todd’s
worked in a variety of geospatial intelligence
positions. And I’m pleased to
introduce Todd. Thanks, Wes. For the 95% who were not in
New Orleans at the GEOINT Symposium, I’m going to very
quickly, in less than eight minutes, sort of summarize,
contextualize what we’re talking about here. The theme was GEOINT
3.0, A New Era. So that really raises
a lot of questions. What’s causing the change, what
are the implications, and what are the professional
challenges? So, next slide please, Wes. Sorry. We’re having just a little
bit of a delay. Just a second. There we go. So in a broader context,
we could call this a paradigm shift. And why do I use the term,
paradigm shift? Because a paradigm shift, if
you break it down, it talks about change in key assumptions and the new normal. So let me then move on in to
look at some of the key assumptions in geospatial
intelligence, and then maybe define some of the causes
for this new normal. We had GEOINT 3.0. We had to have a GEOINT
1.0 and a 2.0. So let’s look at GEOINT 1.0. Probably occurred before
the 1980s. It was really focused
on the location of critical physical features. GEOINT 2.0, which occurred
probably 1980s, 1990s, really focused, as a critical
thing, on how we computerize this process. And if we want to characterize
the key assumptions in GEOINT 3.0, it’s understanding the
physical and human geography, so we can better anticipate
things in the future. As Stu Shea said, really what
we’re looking at is an evolution of the trade craft. So let’s look a little
further into why this evolution has occurred. There were certain forces behind
this evolution, and the keynote speakers highlighted
probably six of these forces. The first one is, within the
context of the United States, is to keep the homeland safe. Necessity of the United States
to fight a war in at least two places. The continuing conventional
threats, such as North Korea. As we’ve all seen recently
with the WikiLeaks occurrences, defending
the cyber domain. New non-traditional threats such
as food security, climate change, and also within the
context United States, the prospect within the intelligence
community of reduced funding. So having to do more
probably with less. Jack Dangermond was given the
Lundahl award for lifetime achievement to the community. And in his short presentation,
Jack– it was a tremendous presentation– talked about a number of forces,
actually five forces, in the technical realm, that
has had an impact on the community, too. The first one is computation is cheaper, faster, and mobile. We’ve all seen this. Measurement is more precise and
using people as sensors, or crowd sourcing. Jack also talked about software
becoming much more analytic in nature,
not just display. And how science is seeking
understanding to better anticipate, or some people
would say predict. And the last one is open data
sharing, even within the intelligence community. Jack concluded his presentation
by talking about new kinds of trade craft that
are really being driven by these technologic changes. So Director Letitia Long,
keynote address, really highlighted three areas in her
vision that are primary changers within the geospatial
intelligence realm. And these are apps, a new app
store to let the analysts do it themselves, let the user of
the data do it themself. A focus on anticipating when
something will happen. And then, a new emphasis
on human geography. So let’s let Letitia, at about
a three-minute clip, describe these herself. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] -We have to take the complex
geoprocessing capabilities of a GIS, and deliver to the use
intuitive but powerful apps that perform the tasks
that are needed. Would you like to determine
the potential helicopter landing zone? We build you an app for that. Do you want to determine
distribution routing? We build you an app
for that also. Do you want to geotag photos? Well, let’s create an
app for that, too. And many more that allow you to
access open source data or crowd sourcing to
solve a problem. I’d like to see transparent
access to as much raw data as possible, including
open source data. I’d like to see a proliferation
of apps, developed by both providers and
users alike, letting power users to do it themselves when
and where they want. GEOINT is not only about
describing where, what, when, or how many, although we’re
very good at that. It’s also about possibilty,
trends, and implications. It’s about context. It’s about anticipating what
could happen, where it could happen, and why it
could happen. By moving to more of an
anticipatory posture, we can create new value for our
policymakers, our war fighters, the intelligence
community, and first responders. The potential value added
is significant. If we could use our expertise to
focus the national security community on issues before they
become a crisis, we will have given everyone the
opportunity to leverage their assets more effectively. And we will have given the
policymakers valuable time to consider a broader range
of policy options. GEOINT by its very nature
is synonymous with an understanding of places, of
locations on the Earth. This understanding is informed
by what we know about the Earth’s physical features. It is informed by what
structures people build. And it is informed by how people
use those structure or activities, if you will. And it is informed by
human geography. It is data and information that
can be depicted visually that further deepens
and enriches our understanding of a place. Human geography includes things
like trival boundaries, political ideology, birth and
death rates, populous places, proximity health facilities,
principal market commodities, ethnicity, languages, education,
access to media, and other cultural features. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Next slide. While we’re waiting for the
slide, I’d like to thank the USGIF for allowing us to use the
clip, and Director Long’s entire speech is actually out
on GEOINT TV if you’d like to watch it. Plus all the keynotes are
a excellent resource. So this really brings us
to three questions. Is there really a paradigm
shift happening here? And if there is, is today’s
community prepared for this new normal? And then finally, what are
the implications to the profession? What do we need to do
to prepare people? We have Ted, Sue and Max to help
answer these questions. I turn it over to Ted. Actually, you’re going to turn
it back over to me, Todd. Okay, I turn it back
over to Wes. No problem. Before we hand off to
Ted, we just want to take a quick poll. And so we’ve got poll number
one, where we’re asking you, where will the new normal
impact you the most? So considering this new normal
that Todd introduced to us, that Director Long has talked
about, is the impact in technology, is it in
analytic focus? Is it an inclusion of
human geography? Is it something else? Or maybe you don’t buy
into this new normal. Maybe there’s no impact. So go ahead and take a moment. I’m going to open
the poll window. And it looks like about
15% of you are in. A quarter. A third. OK. And I’ve got 75% in, so we’ll
give you just a couple more seconds folks. OK, close to 80%. And just a couple
more seconds. OK, it looks like we’ve stopped
getting answers. And interestingly enough, looks
like 37% inclusion of human geography, 26% analytic
focus, and 23% technology. So the human geography question
seems to be the lion’s share, analytic focus,
and then technology. Well, that provides a great
lead-in for our next speaker. I’m pleased to introduce
Ted Cope. Ted is the functional executive
for NSG Research and Development, and in this role,
he is responsible for developing and executing all
plans and programs to more effectively and efficiently
harness the collective resources of the NSG R&D
community, and to increase overall R&D situation
awareness. Prior to that position, he
served in a number of functions, including Deputy
Director of Advanced Radar, GEOINT, and other positions
with NGA InnoVision. He’s retired from the US Air
Force after 32 years service, 20 years of which were served in
the NRO, primarily focused on acquisition and operations
of cutting-edge space intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance capabilities. So Ted, I’m pleased to introduce
you to talk about, is today’s GEOINT community
prepared for the new normal? Well, thank you very
much, Wes. And thank you to Directions
Media for making this possible. And certainly, thanks for all
the folks that are out there in cyberspace that are
participating in this, and helping out with discovering
the future of GEOINT. Consistent with my role as
looking at the future from a R&D perspective, I’m calling
in from the future, and I’m actually calling in from
Canberra, Australia on Friday morning at a little
after 6:00. So from this perspective, I’d
like to talk about how I see the things that Todd spoke
about very elegantly. And I’d like to say that from
where I stand, I think that the community is not ready for
the kind of paradigm shift, or it’s really some fundamental
culture change that I think has to take place. We’re going to have to continue
doing a lot of the things that have always
been a part of GEOINT. But there’s some new
dimensionality that we have to address because of the character
of the environment that we live in, in terms of
information, and how people interact with that. Additionally, the new challenges
that we face all, again, require a number
of changes. And as the survey indicated,
there’s going to be changes to the type of data that we used to
address these new problems. There is changes in the tools
and analytic methods required. There’s going to be changes
in the environment that we operate in. And certainly, just trying to do
things in a much more, kind of, collaborative and
interactive way that’s going to go further change both
the trade craft and the environment that we
need to do geo. And so in a lot of ways, it will
be sort of like losing our religion. There’s a lot of hard things
about cultural change. It’s as much about forgetting
as it is about learning. And I think that’s what
is the head for us. So just to try to help folks
understand why I feel that way, I’d like to kind
of walk you through where we are today. And thinking about GEOINT and
GEOINT analysis, some of the things that shape that. And what I think some of the
things that will shape it for the future. And why I think we’re not ready
and what changes we might need to get ready. So could you go to the
next chart, please. If you think about our past,
it’s been shaped by access to national technical means, spy
satellites, that there was a lot of demand and not
enough capacity. So we were in sort of a data
scarcity environment. The Soviet Union was considered
denied area. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have a lot of things
when we started out. And so, taking visual images
through the clouds or on the sunny days. Digital media wasn’t available,
so we had physical film flats, maps and text
reports really made up the raw material that we used to
do our tradecraft. And we have since made progress
going beyond just visual images. We have sensors now that can
take pictures through the clouds via radar, determine
other things with multi-spectral and
hyper-spectral, different ways to use the full spectrum to get
information that describes the features, and focuses on
objects and measurements. And we’ve transitioned from
physical media into a digital world, so all those things
have been good. But the fundamental paradigm
of an analyst looking at an image, bringing their knowledge,
and turning that into a text report, or maybe
an annotated graphic, the fundamentals of that really
haven’t changed too much. But there have been some events
that are taking us in some new directions, and I’d
like to talk about that. So next chart, please. As you all know, the events of
9/11 caused us to not just think about using GEOINT to do
measurement and describe physical objects. We realized the importance being
able to find bad actors, bad individuals, the idea of
breaking of networks, and trying to understand what we
call patterns of life so that we could find the bad actors,
get a good geolocation fix on them, and finish their career
as a bad actor. But that required adding a new
dimension to GEOINT, which is the ability to not just take
random samples over time with the satellite and airborne
platforms, but the ability to, I guess, have hang time, if
you will, over a target. To persistently look at a place
over time, and start to understand the movement
dynamics, and the things that happen, and the relationship
between movement, and places, and people that brought in that
time dimension that we’re calling persistent
surveillance. But again, that was a focus of
our remote-sensing on bad actors, and that worked to a
large degree of success in Iraq on a number of issues,
but we also saw some challenges. But then– would you go to the next
chart, please– as we from Iraq to fighting
that Taliban, and the challenges of Al Qaeda in
Afghanistan, we found that just focusing our remote-sensing
assets on bad actors was certainly
an important element of our fight. But as General Petraeus clearly
understood from his experience in Iraq, that if
you don’t take in the understandings of the culture,
the population, and the entire environment that you’re
operating in, you can’t be successful in this kind of war
for the hearts and minds. So that’s what really began to
bring in the human dimension. There’s a paper that you may
all be familiar with, it’s available out on the web, by
General Flynn, who was the J2 for General MacChrystal at the
time over in Afghanistan. It talked about fixing
intelligence by opening up our aperture, if you will, to
bring in a wide range of information about the human
terrain, or the human geography factors of the
environment in Afghanistan. And that became critical as
the, kind of, measure of effectiveness for us, was the
stability of the Afghan population. But if you don’t even know the
size of the population, or the tribal makeup, or how they make
decisions, and how they gather information, it’s just a
whole lot of challenges that you can’t detect using
remote-sensing. Which then highlighted the fact
that to add some of the new value that Ms. Long would
like to see us do for GEOINT, we really have to get into new
sources that may not even be from remote-sensing, but using
unclassified open source information. But that has a number of
challenges with it. So if you go to the next
charts, please. So the type of problems that we
face, just like trying to bring stability to Afghanistan,
it’s kind of a growing challenge. That same kind of cultural
information and human geography understanding that’s
going to be helpful in Afghanistan, we found to be
useful in a whole range of new situations that are reflective
of things like the earthquake in Haiti. Being able to understand where
to deliver relief, or where to send the first responders to be
able to try to save folks trapped in buildings, where
minutes and seconds mean everything. Dealing with extreme weather
events, humanitarian assistance over large-scale
areas like in Pakistan. Using an understanding of the
entire environment to know how to, kind of, precision target
relief and aid to those kind of situations. Understanding the impact of
things like the volcano, things that have large
geographic extent that affected air travel and commerce
around the world, the economic impact. I’m sure you’re all aware of
the oil spill in the Gulf. And GEOINT played an important
role in using unclassified commercial radar data to help
understand the extent of the spill, and where to best put the
emergency resources to try to minimize the damage. New challenges like failed
states, places like Somalia and other places around the
world where there’s no stable governments generates new
problems like the piracy that you hear about happening
off the Horn of Africa. And new threats that are part
of our Homeland Security challenge of individuals
inside our own country. Understanding what type of
environment or what kind of things cause people
to act out their beliefs and their ideology. And new challenges like
the H1N1 flu, things that are global. And how do we use GEOINT to
understand and not just react to these situations, but try to
be anticipatory, and then use the power of GEOINT to
kind of head off things. So these are whole new
challenges that require dealing with not just the
traditional classified information that we’ve always
dealt with, but the unclassified information. And when you deal with that
unclassified information from open sources, you may not
know the veracity of it. You don’t know it’s
provenance. And we have to think about ways
that we can maybe use remote-sensing to get
ground truth out of that new kind of data. But those are all new
challenges to us. Next chart. And when we think about the
future, just the sheer number of people in the world as we
go from a population of somewhere around 6.8 billion,
to estimates of 9 to 10 billion by 2050. Not just the number of people,
but the age groups, where you’re living on a planet where
there may be more people over the age of 65
than under 30. How does that affect the
resource demands, all types of different pressures on governments to provide services? And that large population has
another aspect to it, as it moves from rural areas into
urban environments. Lots of studies done on what
crowding lots of people into urban environments does to
human behavior, social dynamics, potential
for violence. How do you factor all those
types of things in? The competition for resources. Just a much, much more complex
set of problems where everything is related, from
energy, to population, climate change, just tremendous
change. And then further, one of the
biggest movements across the whole globe is the movement from
people onto the net, into cyberspace. And what are the implications
for GEOINT when it’s hard to define physical boundaries for
where a certain ideology persists or what condition? So in looking at the challenge
that NGA has of knowing the Earth and showing the way,
cyberspace presents another challenge for us to understand
the role of GEOINT inside the virtual Earth, if you will. So lots and lots of
new challenges. And we go to the next chart. The biggest one for us, I think,
is if you think about the internet as a new GEOINT
sensor, our challenge is to be able to look across all the
information that’s out there, extract out the spatial and
temporal components of that, and let the data talk
to us and help us. Maybe it’s not going
to give us the new answers to questions. But help us visualize patterns
and understand human behavior in ways that will trigger a new
hypothesis, or new venues for our analysis, and maybe even
new ways to think about targeting our remote-sensing. So exabytes and beyond, an
explosion of information, pictures, and all the different things on the internet. And how do we ingest that and
put it in the proper spatial temporal context, so it can be
virtualized to aid analysis? A huge challenge for us. Next chart. So in summary, in addition to
using all the new sources and multi-INTs, I think it’s going
to require a multi-discipline, bringing people from social
sciences, together with, kind of, classic remote-sensing
skills, photogrammetry, that sort of thing. And I know my colleague, Sue
Kalweit’s going to talk about some of the new skills that
we’ll need to deal with the massive increase in volume
and diversity of data that we face. As we do, kind of widen our
aperture to include all types of information that’s not just
our classic imagery inputs. Lots of textual data, a whole
new source of it we have to contend with, and the challenges
of the veracity. Being able to interactively
engage in our environment, being able to interact with
the data, and with other analysts from these different
perspectives. And the fundamental thing, as
Ms. Long laid out in her vision, is to use all this new
information to help us develop patterns and understand things
so that we can anticipate, to the largest degree, where the
next challenges are so that we’re no longer reactive
as a nation. That we can take proactive steps
and a whole-government approach to try to
deal with the crisis in the 21st century. So thank you very much
for your time. I’ll turn it back to Wes. Thanks very much, Ted. And appreciate you
bearing with. I think, not only did we have
the normal slide delay as we moved through the system, but
I’m sure you were getting a little delay down in
Australia, too. So thanks for bearing with us
as the slides caught up with your excellent talk on
the challenges ahead. As we lead into our third
panelist, we’d like to take another poll real quick
to get you thinking about the next topic. And so you’ve seen a little
bit about what GEOINT 3.0 means, and what the challenges
it creates for professionals in the field. And so we’d like you to consider
what professional developments you need, again,
if you buy into this new normal, and the complexity
therein. So is it different technical
skills, different analytic skills, more understanding
of working in teams, something else, or– I’m just getting ready to launch
that poll for you– nothing. There’s no new normal. Let’s go ahead and take a
minute, and consider that. Got about half of you, just
shy of half of you in, and getting a variety
of results here. So we’ll give you a
few more seconds. About 60% are in now, and we’re
getting close to 3/4s. So I’ll give you just a
couple more seconds. OK. Well, we seem to be hovering
right in that neighborhood, close to 75%. And I’ll give you– a couple more coming in–
just one second. OK. So what I’m seeing here, 47%
different analytic skills. 23%, different technical
skills. 16%, more understanding
of working in teams. 11%, something else. And then there’s still a few of
you naysayers out there who say there is really
no new normal. Well, it’s an interesting
question, and certainly even an interesting problem. And we have someone who I think
is quite an expert in this area to help us think
through what’s actually necessary in this new normal. So I’m pleased to introduce– get the slide up here– Susan Kalweit, who’s with
Booz Allen Hamilton. Sue’s a principal at Booz Allen
Hamilton, and leads a team of geospatial professionals
delivering spatial integration, analytic
services in the intelligence and international development
communities. Prior to Booz Allen, Sue worked
for the NGA for 17 years, and is the recipient of
the Distinguished Civilian Service Award. And Sue’s going to help us
think through how you can prepare yourself for
what’s next. Sue? Thanks, Wes. And I want to thank Penn State,
and also Directions Magazine, for inviting me
to this discussion. I first want to lay out that
I’m really admitting that I stand in the camp that says, we
are entering a new era, and that a new normal is emerging. I further believe that our work
force is not yet ready for what’s next. And if I might hypothesize,
the 95% of you who did not attend the GEOINC conference,
perhaps the majority of you were actually back at the ranch working the GEOINC mission. And if that’s true, then the
discussion that I want to create right now around
professional development is really for you. Because I want to make sure that
we have what is needed, so that you’re prepared and
ready for what’s coming next in this new era. And first of all, my hypothesis,
or my proposition, is that we need to create a more
inclusive relationship among government, academia,
and industry, in order to provide the training, education,
mentorship, and experiential learning
opportunities that you need, both today, as well
as to sustain the workforce into the future. National security threats are
no longer static targets, or monolithic threats, and like the
environment that we live in, our professional development
environment needs to be agile and responsive to
the changing landscape. I want to start by making you
aware, or challenging your thinking in this new
area, by sharing a concept around the map. Traditionally, when we see or
hear the word, map, we think about geography, boundaries,
landforms, et cetera. Fact is, the threats we face
don’t care about geography, they don’t care about political
boundaries. Insurgents and terrorists move
in accordance with the relationships that have
to do with people. Natural disasters occur across
political boundaries, regardless of whether there are
people there or not, but invariably people are affected
by those natural disasters. Like the threats we face, we
must free ourselves of the boundaries of the geography,
and actually constrain our approaches to thinking
about how we operate in the GEOINT mission. We must think about
georeferencing, and temporally referencing information, and
how, through new analytic processes, methods, and
techniques, we can draw new insights from that
information. And be able to predict, or be
prepared for what might occur next, as Director Long indicated
in her speech. In addition, we must seek ways
to visualize information that tells stories. And as the quote here refers,
Doctor Yuan at University of Oklahoma is already teaching
the fact that we’re moving from away from geographic
measurement, and really to this concept of geographic
dynamics. Where it’s about communicating
the story of what has happened, what will happen,
and what the impact of that will be. If you think about it,
storytelling is spaciotemporal communications. And we need to translate the
storytelling approach into the visual analytics and products
that we as GEOINT professionals create and use . And the bottom line is, we need
the workforce with the skills and knowledge to apply
these new spaciotemporal tools and methods in order to
make, as Ted says, the invisible, visible. It seems unusual, at first, to
think that to find a needle in a haystack, you need
more information. But in point of fact,
that true. The more information you can
correlate and relate, the higher probability you have in
discovering the trends and patterns that lead to
understanding human behaviors, and predicting likely
outcomes. Luckily, today we live in a
world rich in information, as both Ted and I had indicated. And that what we need now is the
processing power, and the tools, in order to pull out
the spatial, or the georeferenced, and
temporally-referenced information, and then be able
to apply the visual analytics to that. And I want to emphasize here,
in terms of the new tradecraft, it’s no accident
that the picture you see in the analytics box
is not a map. It is not dots on a map, but it
is actually looking at the consistency, or of
where patterns and trends are occurring. It’s a new way of doing
analytics to the workforce currently working in
the GEOINT world. Can you go to the next slide? So what I’m painting a picture
of is taking advantage of the next revolution in information
management that has a name. It’s called big data. As shown in the example on
the right, the big data environment enables visual
presentation of petabytes of information, and is able to
correlate that information to show patterns and trends. This future environment
necessarily requires a workforce who is comfortable
with technology, comfortable with statistics, and capable
of interpreting visual analytic graphics, rather than
just remotely-sensed imagery. Don’t get me wrong. Imagery is a key input to the
data source, but so is the wealth of other
spaciotemporal-related data. We need to be able to have a
workforce that is capable of leveraging that information
and making sense of it to communicate what’s
going to happen. So how do we prepare the
workforce for that future? Well, I propose, or I offer
that we’ve got to create a next generation tradecraft. And that next generation
tradecraft includes new methodologies, techniques,
and processes. New tools and technologies. New data relationship models. And, importantly from your
perspective listening, a professional development model
that provides the training, education, mentorship, and
experiential learning, to prepare you to create, leverage,
and use these new tools in your tradecraft kit. How do we create that professional development model? We really need to take advantage
and leverage the resources and capacity
available, not only in government, but in academia
and industry. Can you go to the last slide? What I’m proposing is that we
create an adaptive model to professional development that
leverages that capacity and flexibility that
already occurs. I indicated already that Dr.
Yuan and Dr. Goodchild are already starting to incorporate
in their courses concepts around spatial
and temporal analysis, communications, that is not
dependent upon the map. But is actually dependent upon
creating those relationships, and being able to visualize and
understand those patterns of behavior, and
relationships. We should take advantage of what
they’re doing already in the academic world. We should take advantage of
what industry is doing in response to need around
full-motion video and training that they’re providing. We should take advantage of the
deep knowledge and skill sets that are being trained
within government today. But in order to take advantage
of it, we need a model that understands how to incorporate
and leverage all of that capacity, so that you, the
workforce, know where to go, and how to access that capacity,
and access those resources, in order to support
the retooling, re-skilling, and also finding the future
workforce that we need in order to address the new era
that we’re moving into. With that, Wes, I’ll turn
it back to you. Thanks, Sue. So we’ve set up an interesting
series of thoughts here. There’s a new norm in
the GEOINT world. It has definite impacts, and
it’s going to involve, probably, changes in the way
we prepare ourselves professionally, in terms
of development. So before we consider some
of your questions, and we definitely would like to open
the floor up for questions, we’d like to provide just
a few additional resources for you. And that slide will
be becoming up here in just a second. First of all, you can certainly
reach Todd and the entire group at the Geospatial
Intelligence Certificate at pennstategis.com. State Ted Cope has provided
his email for us, if you’d like to follow up with him. Sue Kalweit’s also provided her
email, and also a link to boozallen.com’s geospatial page,
where you’ll find a lot of Booz Allen’s thought
leadership projects, and other kinds of information
that’s totally relevant to this topic. And then, in just a minute, I’m
going to be introducing our final panelist, Max Baber,
and we’ve got both his links at the usgif.org, and
gotgeoint.com. And so, as we head into our Q&A,
like I just indicated, I’d like to welcome a fourth
panelist to the group. Max Baber is the current
Director of Academic Programs at the United States Geospatial
Intelligence Foundation. And prior to that role, he
served as associate professor at University of Redlands,
Samford University, and assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado. I’m going to turn it over to Max
initially, because Max has a question that he’d like to ask
our three prior panelists. And then once we get some
responses from them, we’ll be turning to some of the question
that you’ve been posing in the chat window. Max, welcome to the panel. Thanks, Wes. Hello, everybody. Clearly, GEOINT is evolving
and there are many new challenges. Among them, today we’ve heard
the field of human geography being featured prominently
in this conversation. My question for the
panel is this. Is human geography new to
geospatial intelligence? Todd? Well, thanks for the
opportunity, Max. My bottom line up front,
I would say yes. And let me nuance my answer
here a little bit. GEOINT 1.0, 1980s, in fact, it
used to be called mapping, charting, and geodesy. There was very little or no
emphasis on the human. In fact, we were told not
to really look at human activity at all. We looked at physical
features. GEOINT 2.0, 1980s, ’90s, it
computerized, I would say, human activity. Looking at human component began
to come in somewhat. I think in GEOINT 3.0, we
have rediscovered what a geographer does. And bringing human geography
into the geospatial intelligence community is
clearly, in my mind, a rebirth or something new. Max, back to you. Thanks, Ted. Ted, what are your thoughts? Thank you, Max. Yeah. My view is that human geography,
to incorporate it in a very systematic way,
really is a new dimension to GEOINT. When we talk about what kind
of tools analysts have, the ability to see patterns, if you
will, to see things in a way that’s a little different
than just seeing objects, you really need the human geography
dimension to provide a much richer contextual
understanding. And you may have sensors that
can detect motion, or vehicles on a particular highway at a
certain time, but without understanding the human
geography elements of economics, and culture, and
other things, that you may not know what that traffic on
that highway means. Are people going to a mosque,
to a soccer game, or other little subtle indicators that
you can’t just understand just through remote-sensing. So yeah, I really believe it’s
a new dimension that’s going to affect our architecture, our
tradecraft, and the type of data that we’ve pursued
to enrichen the value of our analysis. Thanks, Ted. Sue, where do you stand? Yeah. I also believe that
from a trade craft perspective, it is new. And specifically, the vast
majority of the GEOINT tradecraft practiced today is
not very different than the tradecraft that was practiced in
the 1960s, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What is required today, in
terms of understanding patterns of human behavior,
access to information well beyond the intelligence
community, and being able to pull together those
spatial-temporal references, understand the context of those
relationships, and be able to communicate those
relationships effectively through visual means, requires
a new tradecraft that is not yet in place. Great. Well, I’ve heard Ted refer to
systematic integration, and I’ve heard Sue refer to patterns
of human behavior. And what I know about human
beings is that we are a complex species, in terms of
the manifestations of our society and culture. So in terms of integrating
human geography within a geospatial intelligence environment, how do we proceed? How do we manage that? Anyone? So this is a though one. Well, Max this is Todd. Can I take a swing at that? Go ahead. I would tell you, from the
broader context, this is something where education
comes in. It’s very difficult to train
someone in the aspects of understanding human culture. And I would probably
even go further. I’d say language is key here. So we have to educate people. They have to learn another
language, which really leads them into understanding
another culture. So education is important. It’s very difficult to train
someone to understand the human aspects of a problem. If I could just for a moment
add on to that in the professional development
context, where experiential learning is another important
component to professional development. We not only have to gain
education, but then go experience new cultures. And really understand, and see
for yourself how the cultures and human behaviors vary
around the world. Sue, I can’t agree more. I think that’s very important
part of our education, in terms of other cultures. Language is critical of course,
but being able to have that first-hand experience. You learn so much more in
face-to-face interactions than you do from reading about
cultures in a book. Any additional thoughts that
anybody has about the relevance of human geography
to the new paradigm of geospatial intelligence? Actually, Max, this is Wes. Why don’t I steal the mike
back from you, because we actually have quite a few
good questions, kind of, splintering off on that topic. So if you’ll let me interject
here for a second. And I’m going to move you
virtually over to a seat on the panel. There are a number questions
that relate to this. And one that I found
particularly interesting. And maybe Sue could start with
this, but maybe both you and Todd could follow up, and the
certainly Ted, as well. The question reads, and I’ll
read it exactly, with the incorporation of human
geographical information and sciences that tell the story of
how people behave, how do you see the geospatial
tradecraft growing? And it’s a long question, but
what it basically goes on to say is, does human geography
become part of the geospatial tradecraft, or does the geospatial tradecraft dissolve? Am I a geographer after
incorporating human geography facets, or does everyone else
become a geographer? And so it’s kind of that tension
of, am I coming at it from a profession, or
from a methodology? And which side of it
do I come from? Does that question make sense,
and does anybody want to take a stab at that? Yeah. I’ll answer it. I’ll take at it and
answer this way. First of all, I think that where
my head is, that we’re moving to be analysts. Analysts of spatially- and
temporally-referenced information. And analyzing that in the
context of human geography, or in the context of sociocultural
behaviors, relationships, patterns
of life. And I say that because the real
difference in what I’m thinking is that today, for the
most part, for instance, in the NGA world, they take an
image, and they look at the image, and say here’s
what’s on the image. And this is what that means. Well, I’m beyond that. I’m saying that providing
information of what’s on the image is a piece of information
that then combines with other sources of
information gleaned out of open source, gleaned out of
crowdsourcing data, gleaned from commercial data sets, that
we’re moving up the value chain in our analysis. And that what we’re really about
is thinking spatially and temporally, and making
conclusions and insights, based on those spatial-temporal patterns of behavior. Thanks, Sue. I’d like to follow
Sue with that. Certainly, human geography is
an element of geospatial intelligence and a very
important element. And when you think about the
spatial-temporal pattern that Sue was just referring to, you
could probably look at a community, a city, in
Afghanistan, and think that the human landscape changes by
the hour of day, that the environment that you see during
the daytime is not the same social or cultural
environment you might experience during
the nighttime. So those spatial-temporal
dynamics are critically important in understanding
the human landscape. Thanks, Max. This is Ted. I think the part of the question
about does everyone have to become a geographer, I
think it gets and an important point, that for a long time,
GEOINT was more defined by it’s unique sources, access
to spy satellites. But I think in a classic
intelligence sense, when you think about intelligence as
being sources and methods, I think a big part of the future
will be that the role of NGA in its functional management
role of teaching other people a new tradecraft, and how
to think spatially and temporally, yeah, that
skill shouldn’t be limited to NGA employees. I think it’s going to be
fundamental to people throughout the intelligence
community of the federal government to think and
be able to reason in spatiotemporal context. And human geography, again,
isn’t just a stovepipe. It needs to be done in context
with, kind of, physical geography, and activity-based
GEOINT, but it is a new component. And geography is just
the context. GEOINT is an inherently
multidisciplinary field. We have people coming together
from various disciplines, including political science,
engineering, computer science, and bringing their expertise to
bear to do problem solving for national security. OK. Todd do you want to take a stab
at that, or should I move on to the next question? Why don’t we move on
the next question. OK. This one’s a little
more specific. It came up while Ted was
speaking, so I think I want to point this one to Ted. So we’ll go from kind of the
broad, to maybe a little bit more of a narrow focus. And this question is, what
are the most important remote-sensing-derived products
for analyzing the human geography dimension
of GEOINT? And so this person seems almost
be thinking about, kind of, of those legacy methods,
what can we still incorporate? Well, that’s going to be a
passive discovery for us. I know there’s a number of
people in our research department that are looking at
how can you use remote-sensing to make assessments of– obviously, Afghanistan doesn’t
have the kind of census bureau that the United States
has, so– if the population of Afghanistan
is the center of your fight, how do you
understand the volume that you’re dealing with, whatever. And using classic EO imagery
to understand urban development– and there’s been studies that
look at how the types of buildings and stuff, you
can make guesses about population density– so, that’s still an avenue for
research and discovery about what role do the classic sensors
we’ve used can help us understand some of these aspects
of human geography. And what other new sensors can
we bring in to help us understand about patterns of
movement, and how people use the energy sources, and then
things around them. So we’re still in a learning
mode on that. OK. Thanks, Ted. Does anyone else want to take
a swing at that one? I would say that one of the
things we can use the classic remote-sensing technologies
for is to start to build signatures around patterns
of human behaviors. For example, where we know that
there’s been conflict that has driven people to move
out of their communities, away from the conflict, and they hit
a river and settle right there in front of the river. And then, by virtue of cutting
down trees and polluting the water that’s there, you create
an environmental hazard. We can go back in time, using
remotely-sensed imagery, to develop the signatures
of that occurrence, that pattern of behavior. And then, be able to look for
evidence of those sorts of patterns of behavior emerging
again, in order to then predict what might occur, given
certain conflicts that are either emerging or
are in full swing. OK. Thanks, Sue. We’ve got just a couple minutes
left, and you probably saw in the chat window that
we’re go to go just about five extra minutes so that
we can answer maybe one more question. And we have kind of a couple
that are somewhat related. I think Sue talked about the
notion of where the data comes from, and a little bit about
security and transparency. And so I’m going to read two
questions, and they kind of work together, and then maybe
Sue can start us off, and we can branch out from there. What’s the best way to determine
the proper balance between security and transparency in this new paradigm? And the related question is,
the fact is, we don’t have complete freedom in sharing
information. WikiLeaks is a good example, and
we’re seeing the pendulum swing toward more security
requirements on data. Yet, to make big data available requires less security. So how do we balance that
security with openness? Yeah. So security is always our big
challenge, in terms of leveraging information and the
information environment that’s available to us, I
give you that. And it’s something that we have
to be able to figure out how to address. Again, the short story is, if we
really want to discover the needles in the haystacks, we’ve
got to have access to more and more information, and
more and more information is becoming available. We’ve got to be able to create
ways where we can access information, but not give away
who it is that’s accessing that information. We’ve got to be able to create
ways to better protect and secure information
that we have. I don’t have a good answer to
that, but I know that that’s a hard problem that, within
academia research and within industry, they’re looking
for solutions. Any other thoughts? Ted, do you have any
thoughts on that? Yeah, Wes. A great question, and it’s going
to be one of the, kind of, enduring challenges
we’re going to face. And I agree with everything
that Sue said. And I think what we’re going to
have to realize is that the balance between protecting and
sharing is going to be a very dynamic balance. There won’t be any one brute
force policy that’s going to be appropriate. That as we work with other parts
of the government, and other countries, to deal with
these 21st century challenges, it’s going to take a cultural
change in the workforce, and in our security workforce, and
policy to deal with these new situations as they arise in a
much more agile and adaptive kind of way. And not just think there’s one,
kind of, silver bullet policy that’s going to fix
things like in the past. It’s all about risk management
from here on out. Thanks, Ted. This is Todd. My contribution to this would
be, is I see an educational opportunity here. I could see a potential for some
education or training in the realm of how you deal with
some of these issues, and what are some of the ethical
components to it? Thanks, Todd. I just want to respect the fact
that we’ve asked for five extra minutes of everyone’s
time, and we’re at 3:06 now, east coast time anyway. So I just want to quickly thank
all of our panelists. It was a robust and interesting
discussion, and I want to end back to my
colleague, Joe Francica at Directions Media, who had some
closing thoughts, and also want to thank everyone
for joining us. Joe? Thank a lot, Wes. And thanks again to all
of our panelists. Obviously, there were many more
questions than we could get to in the allotted time,
and we’ll find a way to get the answers to your questions. But again, thanks to Todd,
Ted, Sue, and Max for participating in today’s
webinar. Obviously, we could go on and
on with this topic, and perhaps that’s a topic for
future webinars, and we look forward, perhaps, presenting
them to you, just from the directions we decide. Again, thanks. We have several more webinars
coming up in the coming year of many very interesting topics,
and certainly those presented in this series
by Penn State. Again, our thanks to
everyone today. There will be a copy, as I said,
of this webinar that you will receive a link to once
you have signed off today. So feel free to access
that on-demand webinar at your leisure. As always, we want to remind
our panelists and our listeners that Directions Media
hopes to be your source for all things location. Thanks again for joining
us today, and be sure to tell a friend. Take care now.

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