of Michigan. ICPSR offers 5-day workshops dealing with introductory spatial regression analysis and spatial econometrics. Its counterpart in the United Kingdom is the University of Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis, which offers a 2-week intensive course on spatial econometrics. The Spatial Econometrics Association runs a 4-week Spatial Econometrics Advanced Institute every summer in Rome.

Summer courses in network analysis are offered by ICPSR and Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS) and COS Ph.D. program. The CASOS summer institute provides continual reeducation on geo-enabled network analysis and dynamical analysis. Courses focus on new tools for analyzing network data, which are evolving rapidly; changes in technologies for data collection, visualization, and forecasting that influence the analysis of network data; and advanced analyses that have a spatial, temporal, or large-scale data component. All COS Ph.D. students have the opportunity to take this program and teach in it, and the new advances that they develop are presented as part of an associated symposium.


Government training programs are established to meet the specialized needs of federal agencies. Military colleges offer an opportunity to train students in relevant disciplines and techniques within the context of national security and defense. Training programs offered by federal agencies provide a means for employees to update or augment necessary skills. Such training is important for geospatial intelligence, given the rapid advances in geospatial technologies and the need for operational knowledge, experience, and tactics, which cannot be fully taught in academic settings.

NGA Vector Study Program

The Vector Study Program, originally called the Long Term Full Time Training (LTFTT) program, was established more than 50 years ago to enable civilian employees of NGA’s predecessor organizations to obtain university training in selected areas while receiving full salary and benefits. NGA identifies critical skills needed, interested employees apply for specific programs, and universities accept applicants through the normal selection process. The program pays for tuition and all course-related expenses for classes in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. The master’s program is funded for 1 year (three semesters) and the doctorate program is funded for 2 years (six semesters). Obtaining a degree is not required, and indeed most advanced degrees can barely be completed within these time periods.

About 70 universities and colleges currently participate in the Vector Study Program. One of the longest running programs is the graduate program in photogrammetry at Purdue University, which was established in the mid-1960s primarily to train employees of federal agencies, including the Defense Mapping Agency, a predecessor of NGA. The program offers master’s degrees, both thesis (research oriented) and nonthesis options, and doctorate degrees. Most trainees elected the master’s nonthesis option, which offers a large number of courses (10–12). The few who chose the thesis option usually worked on topics related to their agency’s activities, seeking solutions to problems encountered in production. Ph.D. trainees commonly worked on state-of-the-art problems of interest to their agency.

Topics covered in Purdue’s graduate program include the fundamentals of photogrammetry, sensor (passive, active, motion-imagery) modeling, platforms (space, airborne, unmanned), lidar, information extraction (targeting, image products such as ortho-imagery, digital elevation models, map features), and photogrammetric data as input to Computer Aided Design, GIS, and virtual reality databases. Other allied courses in the program include analytical fundamentals for geomatics, adjustment of geospatial observations, coordinate systems and conformal mapping, advanced geospatial estimation, modeling, and exploitation of multi- and hyperspectral remote sensing systems. Students who stay beyond the first year enroll in courses in related areas, such as orbit mechanics (for integration into photogrammetric modeling) and digital image processing and analysis (learning the approaches to image feature correspondence). They delve deeply into advanced photogrammetric problems, such as image registration (image to image and image to reference

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