GEOINT - Geospatial Intelligence

GEOINT Definition

GEOINT is the acronym for geospatial intelligence, which is information derived from an analysis of images and data associated with a particular location. GEOINT uses imagery to survey and assess human activity and physical geography anywhere on Earth. GEOINT was initially a project by the U.S. military and is now used by academia and commercial enterprises to solve geographic problems.


What Does GEOINT Stand For?

The GEOINT definition stands for geospatial intelligence, using the first three letters of each word (“geo” and “int”) to create the GEOINT acronym.

What Is Geospatial Intelligence?

Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is a term created by an agency within the U.S. government in 2005 for defense analytics, geospatial intelligence and government data analytics. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper coined GEOINT as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Clapper’s October 2005 memo offered the following GEOINT definition: “GEOINT encompasses all aspects of imagery and geospatial information and services. It includes, but is not limited to the analysis of literal imagery; geospatial data; and information technically derived from the processing, exploitation, literal, and non-literal analysis of spectral, spatial, and temporal fused products. These types of data can be collected on stationary and moving targets by electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), related sensor programs, and non-technical means (to include geospatial information acquired by personnel in the field).”

Advanced geospatial intelligence in federal is not the only use case, as GEOINT has also been adopted by the business intelligence sector. GEOINT is used by location-based services and has transformed the way B2B and B2C enterprises approach logistics and marketing.

GEOINT has grown beyond its initial U.S. focus and is becoming a globally accepted standard.

What Does Geospatial Intelligence Do?

Precision Location Data —
GEOINT will allow applications to provide better services by analyzing the precise locations of billions of mobile phone users in every part of the planet. Precision location data also applies to vehicles, ATM transaction locations and online activities.

Remotely Sensed Information — GEOINT / GIS analysis of high-resolution imaging from space will become more accessible for any enterprise with the advent of reusable, commercial rockets and smaller, less expensive satellites. Unmanned aerial vehicles will also provide imaging for everyone from agriculturalists to disaster response personnel.

Processing Power — The potential of GEOINT-related data will only grow with the increase of high-power computing. This will facilitate large-scale crowdsourcing of imagery. For example, crowdsourced “crisis mapping” of humanitarian relief efforts for natural or manmade disasters.

Data Analytics — GEOINT will benefit from and contribute to advances in data and predictive analytics in fields like health care, telecommunications, utilities, banking and insurance.

Virtual and Augmented Reality — GEOINT data is essential to accurately model real locations in gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality environments.

The Internet of ThingsGEOINT will facilitate greater understanding of the live-streaming of data from every product people use.

What is a GEOINT Analyst?

A GEOINT analyst is job title in the U.S. Army. The geospatial intelligence imagery analyst is responsible for analyzing overhead and aerial imagery. They provide Army personnel with critical information about enemy forces, potential battle areas and combat operations support.

Beyond the military, a GEOINT analyst can apply the same skills for law enforcement agencies, global humanitarian agencies, emergency response systems, investigative and forensic analysis consulting firms and security consulting firms.

Who Benefits From GEOINT?

Commercial enterprises —
GEOINT is shaping census, historical, meteorological and geological information for many commercial uses. Travel, real estate and oil and gas industries will benefit from accurate GEOINT data.

Military — GEOINT helps plan and execute activities, establish distribution networks, and RSOI operations (reception, staging, onward movement, and integration).

Automotive — Autonomous vehicles will depend on highly precise GEOINT data for safety.

Firefighters — GEOINT data will help combat forest fires and keep firefighters safe with precise location and weather data.

Agriculture — GEOINT data can maximize plant health and minimize fertilizer use over large spans of ground with its precise level of locational detail.

How Does HEAVY.AI Utilize GEOINT?

HEAVY.AI and the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University have a research collaboration through the Spatiotemporal Innovation Center of the National Science Foundation’s Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program. The goal is to explore the power of graphics processing units in spatiotemporal analytics. HEAVY.AI is at the forefront of location intelligence for big data, combining unprecedented volumes of geospatial and BI data in one interactive experience. See how HEAVY.AI enables GPU-accelerated defense analytics and GPU-accelerated public sector analytics for instant insights in these solution briefs.