Mobile Devices, Cloud Computing Pushing New Geospatial ‘Phase’

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The proliferation of smartphones and technological innovations such as cloud computing could point to a new era for geospatial intelligence, according to a recent Defense Systems report.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is sounding out the new tech tools to more easily put high-value geospatial imagery into the hands of warfighters.

“We’re entering a new phase for [geospatial intelligence] — it’s going to be exciting,” said Keith Barber, who heads NGA’s implementation online on-demand services.

He added that there’s “tremendous potential” with handheld devices, but acknowledged there are security issues yet to be worked out.

The mobile push in geospatial is also sparking the need for applications, which can be created by traditional software and app developers, industry partners and the warfighters, themselves, he said.

“We have to find a balance in terms of investment and we need to understand new technology like the cloud, which is the buzzword du jour,” Barber said. “One challenge is that we have to be smart about aligning resources.”

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