24 Aug 2009
Monday Morning News Kick Off: CIA And Blackwater; Geospatial Industry Growth Slows to 1 Percent; and DARPA’s URGENT Program
Welcome to the Monday Morning News Kick Off post, exclusively on got geoint? As many of you may have noticed, our FFT post’s theme was all about going back to school. So, many of you — those with children — may have been dealing with the “first day of school challenges” on the home front this weekend. Well, fret no more. You are probably now in your office, ready to jump start the the work week. And, what better way to do that than to read our Monday Morning News Kick Off post. Today, we have lots of news to share – from the CIA under scrutiny and an industry report that states that the geospatial industry is down 1 percent. Scroll down for more actionable news you can use.
CIA’s Use Of Contractors Draws Fresh Scrutiny
There has been plenty of news lately about how the CIA worked with a private contractor on a secret assassination program, which many say is the latest evidence of how much the agency has outsourced a range of its activities, including covert missions. In 2004, the CIA worked briefly with Blackwater, the controversial private security firm, on a program designed to target and kill al-Qaida operatives. The word is that the program was scrapped before it launched. But, it has stirred up a bit of controversy last week, when this information was disclosed. Read more here.
GOP Senators Warn Holder Against CIA Abuse Inquiry
Last week, leading GOP lawmakers cautioned U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. on against opening an investigation into alleged CIA interrogation abuses, saying that such an inquiry could have serious national security repercussions. “It is well past time for the Obama administration to lift the cloud that has been placed over those in the intelligence community and let them return to the job of saving American lives,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Holder signed by nine Republican senators. An investigation that distracts the CIA, the lawmakers said, “could leave us more vulnerable to attack.” Read more here.
GIS/Geospatial Industry Worldwide Growth Slows to 1% in 2009
GIS/Geospatial industry worldwide growth is forecast to slow to 1%, down from 11% in 2008 and a whopping 17.4% in 2007 according to a just released study by Daratech, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts market research firm. However, industry CEOs interviewed by Daratech were unanimous in their belief that growth consistent with the robust 11% cagr of the past six years would return in 2010. North America has not been as adversely affected by the downturn as the rest of the world due to the on-going needs of homeland security and continuing investment in GIS, by the public sector. Read the full press release here.
BAE Aims to Help DARPA Improve Targeting Urban Enemies
BAE Systems Inc. will work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) program to expand the accuracy of geospatial analysis for targeting enemies under a recently awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract worth $7.1 million. BAE’s National Security Solutions unit, of Burlington, Mass., will work with DARPA’s Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) Phase II Program to improve human geospatial analysts’ accuracy and productivity through improved state-of-the-art in automated scene analysis. Read more here.
Got GIS? A Niche Technology Goes Mainstream
Ok, so, we don’t own the rights of the “got (insert blank)?” concept. The “Got Milk?” campaign can take all the credit for creating the “got” phenomenon. But, we certainly did brand the official blog for USGIF “got geoint?” almost a year ago when we launched it at GEOINT 2008. So, we came across this recent article from ComputerWorld titled “Got GIS?,” and it could not help but put a smile on our faces.
Twenty First Century Communications Releases New, Faster GIS-Mapping for Emergency Notification
Emergency Notification provider, Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC) delivers greater mapping functionality in a new release of its nationally renowned emergency notification solution, the Universal Communications System (UCS). New, robust features will enhance UCS’s GIS-based (Geographic Information System) alerts to reach targeted areas in times of crisis. Read the full press release here.