Provide geospatial intelligence in all its forms and from whatever source—imagery, imagery intelligence, or geospatial data and information—to ensure a solid foundation of knowledge for planning, decision, and action;
Provide easy access to geospatial intelligence databases for all stakeholders; and
Create tailored, customer-specific geospatial intelligence, analytic services, and solutions.
The programs of the Basic and Applied Research Office (BARO) under NGA’s InnoVision Directorate provide research and development (R&D) support for the agency’s mission and vision. These programs, particularly the Geospatial Science Program, invest in scientifically oriented geospatial research in academia, the business community, and government laboratories through such programs as the NGA University Research Initiatives (NURI), Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU-MI) Research Initiatives, postdoctoral research fellowships, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, cooperative research and development agreements, Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments, and Service Academies Program and through internal research. The majority of these programs are unclassified.
BARO must revise its research plan periodically to support the scientific and technical challenges NGA faces in delivering integrated geospatial intelligence. Addressing NGA’s challenges requires investing in fundamental research to discover breakthrough capabilities that will meet the demands placed on analysts. By its nature, basic research is high risk but with a potential for high payoff. Although this level of risk places it in jeopardy when competing for funding against more tangible, near-term activities, in the longer term such research is essential to NGA. This adds a further dimension to the context in which BARO must revise its research plan.
A key facet of the future of NGA research relates to programs that cover aspects of geographic information science, particularly BARO’s Geospatial Science Program, which seek to take advantage of the most useful methods, data, and technologies from geography and related disciplines. Geospatial science and technology are evolving rapidly in the post-Cold War era. Such technologies as digital soft-copy photogrammetry, high-resolution satellite imagery, and digital geospatial databases—once the exclusive domain of the Department of Defense and the intelligence community—are now common throughout academia and the public and private sectors. The proprietary, frequently classified, hardware and software solutions to geospatial challenges have given way to products and services from the commercial marketplace, which has allowed NGA to