09 Feb 2011
Wednesday News Summary: CIA Fully Embraces Social Media; LiDAR is Heating Up; and NGA Tech Showcase East
As our faithful readers know, we like to do a mid-week news summary, especially when things are blowing up in the news media! Well, that may be an exaggeration, though there is plenty happening today. We have the NGA Tech Showcase East going on, and the International LiDAR Mapping Forum is happening in New Orleans (one of our favorite places) right now. And, well, there’s plenty of other key news — like the CIA fully embracing social media and the NGA looking for IT support. To achieve true enlightenment when it comes to GEOINT news, please read on…again, perhaps another exaggeration. But trust us, there’s some good stuff in this post. Happy Wednesday!
Join USGIF and NGA Today for NGA Tech Showcase East
See how NGA’s products and services are uniting the intelligence, defense and homeland security communities through an integrated GIS architecture for web-based dissemination, analysis and visualization. This year’s event will have four themes: Online-On Demand GEOINT access, anticipatory analysis, strengthening partnerships and transformational GEOINT. There will be approximately 40 exhibits from across the agency showcasing products, services and activities contributing to NGA’s role in supporting the warfighter, responding to natural and man-made disasters, assisting in humanitarian relief efforts and providing for homeland security. Learn more here.
CIA’s Revamped Website Has Flickr Stream, New Kids’ Games, YouTube Puppy-Cam Vids!
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wants the world to know that it loves social media–and just re-vamped its site to prove it. The K-9 cam video is the cutest thing since Keyboard Cat. The CIA has launched a re-vamped website, complete with a YouTube channel and Flickr photo stream, as well as games and an interactive timeline of the agency’s history. “The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the Agency available to more people, more easily,” Director Leon E. Panetta said. “The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.” Read the full Fast Company story here.
NGA Deadline for IT Proposals Draws Closer
Friday marks the deadline in which the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will be accepting IT vendor proposals following the recent announcement of its search for assistance with its Linux-based information system. According to the Jan. 28 “Sources Sought” notice, NGA is researching the market availability of firms that can potentially provide services and products that could be incorporated into its system in hopes to continue the Defense Department’s success in its use of open source technology. “This is not a pioneering or expanded use of the Linux requirement,” said Julia Collins, public affairs officer for NGA, in a recent interview with LinuxInsider. “NGA continuously seeks new and updated IT solutions to better support its mission partners.” Read the full ExecutiveBiz article here.
LiDAR Gaining Steam – Also, The Hoover Dam LiDAR Fly-Through
There’s no question that LiDAR is a popular topic/technology in our industry – heck, a couple of thousand people interested in LiDAR and related technologies are gathered this week in New Orleans for the annual International LiDAR Mapping Forum (see International Lidar Mapping Forum 2011) – Note: our company (Spatial Media) also recently rolled out our LiDARnews.com tech magazine and on GIsuser we have a new archive area devoted to LiDAR. So what’s the big deal about LiDAR? Well, to put it in context, i suggest you check out the awesome video, Airborne 1 Hoover Dam LiDAR Fly-Through – it should WOW you for a little… enjoy! Read our friend Glenn Letham’s full AnyGeo post here.
Lidar Update – Terrestrial Explodes, Software Still Lags
Looking at the image of the underside of a bridge derived from data collected by a boat-mounted LiDAR system, engineers can detect spalling, a type of deterioration in concrete. Surveyors can collect data at a few centimeter accuracy while driving in traffic with a LiDAR system mounted on their truck, at much less risk than by standing with a tripod on the side of a busy freeway, where sub-centimeter is achievable. By scanning facades with LiDAR and fusing this data with aerial digital imagery, companies are creating detailed 3D building models that will soon be commonplace in digital maps on smart phones and car navigation systems. These are just a few of the rapidly increasing number of applications made possible by continuing improvements in LiDAR technology. “LiDAR systems are getting more sophisticated and standardized. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is considering a proposal to establish a LiDAR division,” says Jim Van Rens, President of Riegl USA. Read the full Imaging Notes feature here.
The Airborne Intelligence Conundrum
When it comes to defense coverage, AIN naturally focuses on airborne systems and platforms, including some very high-tech stuff, of course. But my visit to the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Conference and Exhibitionin London last month was a reminder that what happens on the ground is equally, if not more, important.
Tremendous advances in air- and space-borne sensor exploitation were on display at the London conference. Revisit rates, pixel resolution, ortho-rectification, 3-D mapping and so on have all reached new levels of sophistication. And data fusion has advanced by leaps and bounds: population statistics, meteorological conditions, building addresses and a host of other information can be added from databases to digital map displays as overlays or click-throughs. Check out the full AIN Online article here.