A new report from Defence Geospatial Intelligence (DGI) aims to build a comprehensive picture of the challenges faced by geospatial intelligence professionals and the innovative solutions they have devised.
The Defence Geospatial Intelligence report, titled “A view from the cloud: sourcing, storing and analysing imagery in the digital era”, was produced from a Worldwide Business Research (WBR) survey of 100 heads of imagery and geospatial in governments, agencies and businesses around the world.
Respondents were asked about the exponential increase in adoption of geographic information systems (GIS) by military and security organisations, with 70 per cent citing border disputes as the primary driver for future adoption of GIS. As national geospatial intelligence capabilities improve, 81 per cent felt air and sea surveillance would benefit most from GIS adoption; while disaster management and urban counterterror operations each garnered 64 per cent.
When asked about potential concerns when considering adopting GIS, the majority of respondents in the Defence Geospatial Intelligence report cited the timely availability of imagery and cybersecurity issues. Colonel David Pendall, former Head of Intelligence (G2) with the US Army Europe, said: “Cybersecurity is a more important issue than the timely availability of imagery. Open source, crowdsourced and commercial imagery and video will be increasingly available and increasingly timely and accurate. Without cybersecurity, the ability to move and exploit the data will be at increased risk.”
Only 18 per cent of those surveyed stored their data exclusively in the cloud, with 71 per cent storing data both in the cloud and on their organisation’s premises.
63 per cent of respondents said they felt confident in the rate at which defence geospatial intelligence analysis is developing as a field, while 38 per cent said more could be done within the industry to accelerate development. When asked about issues that could potentially inhibit progress, respondents cited high volumes of data and integrating new technologies as concerns that should be prioritised to optimise future development.
The Defence Geospatial Intelligence Conference is Europe’s largest annual gathering of geospatial intelligence professionals, attracting more than 650 geospatial intelligence professionals from 47 countries. The next DGI conference will be held between January 28 and January 30 2019 in London.