Geospatial Intelligence, GEOINT

Posted by in Big Data

Today’s entrance is related to an aspect of my skills I have to explore more, here in the blog: Geographical Information Systems.

Definition

Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT is an abbreviation) is defined by the intersection of the intelligence tradecraft, Geographic Science (GIScience), and Geographic Information Technology (GIT). As a discipline, GEOINT provides decision makers with insights about the ways in which people organize and arrange their activities on Earth’s surface. These insights can prevent surprises, leverage emerging opportunities, counteract threats, or provide time to adapt to a changing situation. GEOINT is not just about defense applications, but provides decision makers with actionable knowledge in business, humanitarian efforts, and law enforcement. Of course, there are ethical aspects of GEOINT that arise since Geographic Information Technologies are inherently surveillance technologies.

Geospatial is related to the relative position of things on the  earth’s surface. Intelligence is processing information that provides insights about human activity to meet the information needs of a decision maker.

The truth is that technology related to geographical information is now everywhere, and it’s critical to understand what is happening in a concrete location on a concrete moment.

The explosion of geolocated data

A few years ago, Geographical Information Systems were created as tools to decision makers, based on satellite images, flight images, and translated from raster information to vectorial information. Today, these maps have evolved into something new, where everybody create information geolocated. And it’s due to smartphones, sensors of all types that are creating information all day (and all night), .

GPS have lot to say, because all data is continuosly saved on databases.

Maps have evolved a lot, because not so long ago, maps were static (I mean, you have all the information available on the map). Now, you need dinamic maps: as an example, you are located in a place where you don’t know anything, but you need to find some restaurant, and even more, you want to know what is the opinion of other people about this restaurant. Tomorrow, on the same place, the information will be new and different, for sure!

Or even more: you can take a picture of a place and, based on what you like, the systems filter only the information you like, making suggestions for you.

We are becaming individual sensors.

GEOINT delivers insights gained from place and time for a decision advantage by integrating Geographic Information Science (GIScience), Geographic Information Technology and its unique tradecraft.

Places have physical and human attributes. Physical attributes may include a description of such things as the mountains, rivers, beaches, and topography of a place. Human characteristics may include the human-designed cultural features of a place, from land use and architecture, to forms of livelihood and religion, to food and folkways, to transportation and communication networks. Place emphasizes the understanding of both of these factors and their integration.

Welcome to a new dimension about geographic informacion.