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Monday, January 31, 2011

GEOINT's Future is in the Cloud

Recently, Geospatial Intelligence Forum Magazine asked me for my thoughts on the role of cloud computing in the future of geospatial intelligence.My response was recently published in their December 2010 print issue and online.

"In my opinion, Cloud computing is the future of geospatial intelligence. Through the processing, exploitation and dissemination process, GEOINT links data about a specific place to a specific time. The goal of this linkage is to create actionable information, and success is often a matter of having sufficient information technology resources. While cloud computing is not a revolution in technology, it does represent a step change in how IT resources are provisioned, accessed, manipulated and consumed. If leveraged properly, this new approach will greatly enhance our ability to create actionable GEOINT.

Cloud computing also represents an inevitable transition that some have likened to the Industrial Revolution. During that time, society developed from an environment where products were handmade in cottages to mass production on assembly lines powered by the steam engine. That transition represented a revolution not just to society, but also to the economy and to many other different domains."

Please read the rest of my answer at their website.

You should also read the answer from Mr. Dan Rice, Lockheed Vice President for spatial solutions. 

"First, the cloud must be accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, from traditional GEOINT consumers to a new generation of troops, analysts, state and federal agencies, coalition partners, first responders, and international relief organizations. That means that the cloud architecture must balance security with far-reaching collaboration. A hybrid cloud approach—one that includes both a private, government-run cloud and a public Internet-based cloud— could be a preferred approach, but it is not without challenges.

In an era of increasing concerns over unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information, a comprehensive security approach including policies, architecture and cross-domain security services is of paramount importance. The cloud’s security capabilities must provide complete situational awareness of where critical information exists throughout the cloud, and who is accessing it."

He also writes about the work being done by the Net-Centric Operations Industry Consortium to help develop a cloud roadmap for the geospatial community. He agrees with me in seeing the NCOIC as an outstanding forum for bringing together the key players from government and industry to tackle important issues like these.



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