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NGA Head Sees Future in Geospatial Apps

NGA Head Letitia A. Long; Photo: nga.mil, Elnur

The head of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency wants to better equip those working in the Intelligence Community with high-tech tools, such as cutting-edge mobile apps to fundamentally change how NGA does business.

Speaking before the National Geospatial Intelligence Symposium in New Orleans, Letitia A. Long said the agency wants to “put the power of geospatial intelligence into the hands of our users,” according to a report on Defense Systems.

What will that look like in the future? At the GeoInt conference, Long specifically touted the power of mobile apps, mentioning an intelligence app store that might be similar to efforts undertaken by the Defense Department.

“Commercial companies have changed the way we interact with each other online and with mobile devices, tablets and a plethora of apps – many with location-based services,” she said.

Defense Systems also reported Long said NGA would “take the complex geo-processing capabilities of a [geographic information system] and deliver to the user intuitive – but powerful – apps that perform the tasks that are needed.”

The ultimate goal for Long, according to DoDBuzz, is “geolocation data…available to any soldier, sailor or airman who needs to use it when they want to use it,” including unclassified websites and classified networks in addition to an app store.

In remarks that echoed those made by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., Long said she would make “tweaks” to NGA to make it more nimble, as well as to prepare it for a future that likely won’t involve budget increases, DoDBuzz reported.

But according to Defense Systems, Long doesn’t see the agency going anyplace anytime soon, noting NGA’s special capabilities in a changing world.

“No one will go to war without us, no one will manage a humanitarian crisis without us, no one will respond to a natural disaster without us,” she said. “We provide the common operating picture.”

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