As part of its continued effort to track activity globally, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is keen to tap into declassified commercial data providers. The NGA, on the other hand, is focused on keeping datasets unclassified rather than merging commercial data with the government information or even analysis to generate new classified data services and products.

“There is so much data coming in from the unclassified surroundings that it was going to be stupid of us to proceed to raise that data into the classified networks to leverage it,” said Dave Gauthier, who serves as the director in charge of the NGA’s Commercial as well as Business Operations Group on November 15 during a GovExec TV episode titled “The Future of Geospatial Intelligence.” “We’re trying to come up with means on how to leave this data in that unclassified section and later organically utilize it there.” Alternatively, have enterprises perform the exploitation in their contexts and then supply us with the analytic services that result from that exploitation.”

The way United States intelligence agencies deal with the commercial satellite imagery, as well as data suppliers, is shifting dramatically. As it analyzes the best means to be able to control the data deluge, government is watching keenly on the proliferation of the private Earth-observation satellites. “We’ve recognized that ingesting raw data will be the bottleneck,” Gauthier said. “We can’t do it the manner we used to, by collecting raw data and leveraging it with human power,” says the researcher.

Gauthier believes that “analyst-ready” information feeds hold possibilities. He expounded that the objective is to tap into the collection of the daily database inputs as well as incorporate them into “the workflow of someone who is conducting a mission assignment and trying to produce insights.” “We have to embrace the conversion of that data into analytic services, information services, and personalized solutions that are geared for usage in our processes,” Gauthier added. “My organization is really focused on placing our demands for those analytic solutions to the industry, understanding what their abilities are, assessing those skills, and then getting whatever, we can for our clients,” says the executive.

Similarly, the NGA is looking into how the rise of unclassified data may affect its workforce. Geospatial intelligence analysts engaged with unclassified data are able to do a portion of their jobs from home during COVID-19 epidemic.

According to Chris Rasmussen, who serves as the NGA lead for the open-source assessment, during GovExec TV episode, the NGA is contemplating augmenting its contractor employees with people who acquire public-trust clearances, such as those who work in the Department of Interior or even the General Services Agency, instead of secret as well as top-secret clearances. Rasmussen stated, “We can onboard the contractors really quickly.” He observed that the people who acquire public-trust credentials would not have entry to a safe complex and was not going to not require it.

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