NGA announces creation of unclassified lab to answer key intelligence questions

Cardillo 112The director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced on March 16 that the GEOINT Pathfinder project to answer key intelligence questions using only unclassified data, at a gathering of industry representatives at the agency’s Virginia headquarters.

GEOINT Pathfinder, an effort largely outside agency walls, will develop partnerships and solutions to deliver high-quality geospatial intelligence at various unclassified levels to customers via mobile devices.

“We must drive the synergy of our new unclassified sources and our sophisticated classified sources to enable more exquisite insights and understanding on the new, higher open playing field,” said NGA Director Robert Cardillo.”This shift requires major changes in every aspect of our discipline.”

The project will operate through a network of in-house labs, off-site locations and telework, all of which will be interconnected through a secure collaborative service. The GEOINT Pathfinder team will consist of a cross-discipline group of data scientists, application developers, open source researchers, methodologists and analysts culled from the agency as well National System for Geospatial-Intelligence and Allied System for Geospatial-Intelligence partners.

“Classified sources, methods and networks will always have value in our agency and to our customers, but we cannot always view unclassified information as supplemental,” said Cardillo. “Moving forward the reverse is more likely to be true – that which is exquisite, but classified will supplement an ever broader and richer unclassified base.”

Source: NGA