In the United States, GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE, GEOINT (GEOspatial INTelligence) is intelligence about the human activity on earth derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses, and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT, as defined in US Code, consists of imagery, imagery intelligence (IMINT) and geospatial information.
GEOINT knowledge and related tradecraft is no longer confined to the U.S. government (IC), or even the world’s leading military powers. An important indicator of the worldwide spread of interest in geospatial data and analysis was the Pennsylvania State University’s recent Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offering on GEOINT, which drew 21,538 learners from 188 different countries. Additionally, countries such as India are holding GEOINT-specific conferences. While other countries may define geospatial intelligence somewhat differently than does the U.S., the use of GEOINT data and services is the same.
* 1 Amplified definition * 2 Principles * 3 Geospatial data, information, and knowledge * 4 Relationship to other "INTs" * 5 Other factors * 6 De facto definition * 7 GEOINT Agencies * 8 US Service Fusion/GEOINT Centers * 9 GEOINT Units * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links
GEOINT encompasses all aspects of imagery (including capabilities formerly referred to as Advanced Geospatial Intelligence and imagery-derived MASINT) and geospatial information and services (GI formerly referred to as mapping, charting, and geodesy). It includes, but is not limited to, data ranging from the ultraviolet through the microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as information derived from the analysis of literal imagery; geospatial data; georeferenced social media; and information technically derived from the processing, exploitation, literal, and non-literal analysis of spectral, spatial, temporal, radiometric, phase history, polarimetric data, fused products (products created out of two or more data sources), and the ancillary data needed for data processing and exploitation, and signature information (to include development, validation, simulation, data archival, and dissemination). These types of data can be collected on stationary and moving targets by electro-optical (to include IR, MWIR, SWIR TIR, Spectral, MSI, HSI, HD), SAR (to include MTI), related sensor programs (both active and passive) and non-technical means (to include geospatial information acquired by personnel in the field).
Geospatial Intelligence, or the frequently used term GEOINT, is
an intelligence discipline comprising the exploitation and analysis of
geospatial data and information to describe, assess, and visually
depict physical features (both natural and constructed) and
geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Geospatial
Intelligence data sources include imagery and mapping data, whether
collected by commercial satellite, government satellite, aircraft
(such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or reconnaissance aircraft), or by
other means, such as maps and commercial databases, census
The question as to how GEOINT is different from other geospatial analytic activities is occasionally asked. Bacastow suggested the following First Principles as markers that define the professional domain in terms of uniqueness and value. These are:
* GEOINT, rooted in the geospatial sciences, geospatial technologies and critical geospatial thinking, seeks knowledge to achieve a decision advantage. * Analysis occurs as a natural human to technical to human sequence of events. * GEOINT reveals how human intent is constrained by the physical landscape and human perceptions of Earth. * GEOINT seeks to anticipate patterns of life through time. * Data and technical systems used by analysts are human creations and reflect human biases.
GEOSPATIAL DATA, INFORMATION, AND KNOWLEDGE
It should be noted that the definitions and usage of the terms
geospatial data, geospatial information, and geospatial knowledge are
not consistent or unambiguous, further exacerbating the situation.
Geospatial data can (usually) be applied to the output of a collector
or collection system before it is processed, i.e., data that was
Geospatial Information is geospatial data that has been
processed or had value added to it by a human or machine process.
Geospatial knowledge is a structuring of geospatial information,
accompanied by an interpretation or analysis. The terms Data,
Information, Knowledge and Wisdom (
Generally, geospatial intelligence can be more readily defined as, data, information, and knowledge gathered about entities that can be referenced to a particular location on, above, or below the earth's surface. The intelligence gathering method can include imagery, signals, measurements and signatures, and human sources, i.e., IMINT, SIGINT, MASINT, and HUMINT, as long as a geo-location can be associated with the intelligence.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER "INTS"
Thus, rather than being a peer to the other "INTs", geospatial
intelligence might better be viewed as the unifying structure of the
earth's natural and constructed features (including elevations and
depths)—whether as individual layers in a GIS or as composited into
a map or chart, imagery representations of the earth, AND, the
presentation of the existence of data, information, and knowledge
derived from analysis of
It has been suggested that GEOINT is just a new term used to identify
a broad range of outputs from intelligence organizations that use a
variety of existing spatial skills and disciplines including
photogrammetry , cartography , imagery analysis , remote sensing , and
terrain analysis . However, GEOINT is more than the sum of these
parts. Spatial thinking as applied in
Geospatial Intelligence can
synthesize any intelligence or other data that can be conceptualized
in a geographic spatial context.
Geospatial Intelligence can be
derived entirely independent of any satellite or aerial imagery and
can be clearly differentiated from
It has also been suggested that geospatial intelligence can be described as a product occurring at the point of delivery, i.e., by the amount of analysis which occurs to resolve particular problems, not by the type of data used. For example, a database containing a list of measurements of bridges obtained from imagery is 'information' while the development of an output using analysis to determine those bridges that are able to be utilized for specific purposes could be termed 'intelligence'. Similarly, the simple measurement of beach profiles is a classical geographic information-gathering activity, while the process of selecting a beach that matches a certain profile for a specific purpose is an analytical activity, and the output could be termed an intelligence product. In this form it is considered to be generally used by agencies requiring definitions of their outputs for descriptive and capability development purposes (or, more cynically, as a marketing strategy).
Geospatial intelligence analysis has been light-heartedly defined as “seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought” or as "anticipating a target's mental map." However, these perspectives affirm that creating geospatial knowledge is an effortful cognitive process the analyst undertakes; it is an intellectual endeavor that arrives at a conclusion through reasoning. Geospatial reasoning creates the objective connection between a geospatial problem representation and geospatial evidence. Here one set of activities, information foraging , focuses around finding information while another set of activities, sensemaking , focuses on giving meaning to the information. The activities of foraging and sensemaking in geospatial analysis have been incorporated in the Structured Geospatial Analytic Method .
DE FACTO DEFINITION
A de facto definition of geospatial intelligence, which is more reflective of the broad international nature of the discipline, is vastly different from the de jure definition expressed in U.S. Code. This de facto definition is: Geospatial Intelligence is a field of knowledge, a process, and a profession. As knowledge, it is information integrated in a coherent space-time context that supports descriptions, explanations, or forecasts of human activities with which decision makers take action. As a process, it is the means by which data and information are collected, manipulated, geospatially reasoned, and disseminated to decision-makers. The geospatial intelligence profession establishes the scope of activities, interdisciplinary associations, competencies, and standards in academe, government, and the private sectors.
This has been suggested as an operational definition of Geospatial Intelligence which might use the moniker of GEOINTEL so as to distinguish it from the more restrictive definition offered in U.S. Code Title 10, §467.
* Australia: Defence Imagery and
Geospatial Organisation (DIGO)
* Canada: Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre (CFJIC)
* European Union:
European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC)
* Portugal: Army
Geospatial Intelligence Center (CIGeoE)
* United Kingdom: Defence Geographic Centre (DGC) and the Defence
Geospatial Intelligence Fusion Centre (DGIFC)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
US SERVICE FUSION/GEOINT CENTERS
* USA: Army Geospatial Center (AGC) * USA: National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) * USA: National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) * USA: National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO)
* Australian Army: 1st Topographical Survey Squadron (1 TOPO SVY
SQN) (Homeland Security: Army Spatial Information Capabilities)
United States Army
* Intelligence portal
* Dino A. Brugioni
* ^ "10 U.S.C. § 467 : US Code - Section 467: Definitions". * ^ United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), 2016 State of GEOINT Report. Feb 2016, p. 16 * ^ Memorandum for Principal Director of National Intelligence, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection, from James R. Clapper, Lieutenant General, USAF (Ret.), Director 17 October 2005, gwg.nga.mil * ^ Murdock, Darryl; Tomes, Robert; Tucker, Chris, eds. (16 September 2014). "Human Geography: Socio-Cultural Dynamics and Challenges to Global Security". USGIF – via Amazon. * ^ http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/Issues/Summer_2015/9_Tomes.pdf * ^ http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/ADA495025.pdf * ^ Masback, Keith (2010) GIF 2010 Volume: 8 Issue: 6 (September) * ^ Priorities for GEOINT Research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, The National Academies Press, 2006, P. 9 * ^ "Pathfinder Archive". * ^ "Defining ‘First Principles’ of Geospatial Intelligence « Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery". * ^ Bacastow, Todd S. (2010). The Learner's Guide to Geospatial Analysis. Dutton Education Institute, Penn State University. * ^ Bridges, Donna M. (2010). A Structured Geospatial Analytic Method and Pedagogy for the Intelligence Community. International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) Journal. 19 (1). * ^ Bacastow, T.S. and Bellafiore, D.J. (2009). Redefining geospatial intelligence. American Intelligence Journal. Pp 38-40 * ^ "Events.oesr.qld.gov.au" (PDF). * ^ SMDC.army.mil * ^ I-mef.usmc.mil * ^ Iimefpublic.usmc.mil * ^ "Iiimef.usmc.mil".
* DGI - Defence