Tech Days Showcase Latest GEOINT Technology

BETHESDA, Md.— May 24, 2010 — U.S. government and Commonwealth partners showcased their latest technology at the National Geospatial- intelligence Agency’s sixth annual Geospatial Intelligence Technology Days in Bethesda, Md., May 18-19. Co-sponsored by NGA and the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, the Tech Days demonstrations provided an opportunity for the community to gather and collaborate on ways to improve mission effectiveness.

NGA held the classified Tech Days for intelligence community and Department of Defense partners and customers as well as selected industry leaders. The Days provided work force and mission partners with a first-hand look at how GEOINT is improving integration and collaboration on the front lines, between allies and analysts, and for disaster relief and recovery missions.

NGA contractor Aarish Gokaldas previewed the ADAPX pen, a technology developed through In-Q-Tel. (In-Q-Tel is an NGA partnership with CIA to seek new solutions from non-traditional providers of technology—venture capital, start-up companies, academia and industry.)

This digital pen allows the average, non-mapmaker user, to mark up maps, imagery and notebooks, then upload the markings into ArcGIS, Microsoft One Note or Excel. “The hardcopy map contains digital ink that reacts to the pen. A user can update the map, using the pen, with what appears on the ground. He or she can then download the pen’s information via a holster and upload the information to a digital map on a computer.” The new information appears in a separate layer on the map, which can be converted to a TerraGo GeoPDF for easy portability.

Ashley Holt, a project scientist with NGA’s Basic and Applied Research Office, demonstrated a graph-based model of the H1N1 virus with dynamic content from the National Center for Medical Intelligence. Said Holt about Tech Days, “A lot of people have been interested in the disease aspects of the model developed by IBM. They are brainstorming other applications for these types of models besides disease.”

Tech Days are “wonderful for us,” said Composite Software’s Pamela Sotnick. “It’s a chance for us to learn a lot about the technology and how our software can integrate.”

Harry Elmendorf with Ball Aerospace appreciated the opportunity to see some of the new technology, specifically the full-motion video demonstrations that get real-time imagery to the warfighter.

USGIF’s Industry Technology Day, following NGA’s Tech Days, was an unclassified event by commercial vendors with an emerging technologies showcase followed by a GEOINT community reception. Industry Technology Day was held at the Hyatt Regency, Reston, Va., on May 20.

NGA is a DoD combat support agency and a member of the National Intelligence Community. The agency’s mission is to provide geospatial intelligence, which is the exploitation of satellite or airborne images, fused with other intelligence and geospatial information like mapping, charting and geodesy, to help warfighters and national decision makers visualize what they need to know. NGA is the nation’s eyes.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Washingtonian magazine selected NGA as one of its “great places to work” in November 2009, where the “pay, mission, culture, flexibility and the benefits were the best part of working at their agency.” NGA also has major facilities in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and St. Louis, Mo., areas with NGA support teams worldwide. Visit our Web site at


Susan Meisner
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