Academy of Management, the American Sociological Association, and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. These training sessions have helped spread new capabilities and also contributed to growth in the field.


Several companies provide training in using the tools they have developed, some of which are being used by NGA. Among the most notable is the Environmental Research Systems Institute (ESRI), a company specializing in GIS software and geodatabase management applications. ESRI hosts an annual user’s conference, which is a forum for training individuals to use ESRI products. Courses, which are either taught by instructors or are self-paced, focus on GIS technology skills and practices to accomplish GIS workflows on the desktop, server, and mobile web.11 BAE Systems offers courses on its photogrammetric products and workstations with SOCET GXP software in several cities.12 Intergraph Corp. teaches 1- to 4-day classes in geospatial technology, video systems, and its geomedia software on request in Madison, Alabama.13 In addition, some manufacturers of GPS/GNSS receivers offer training courses to their customers. Navtech GPS currently offers 12 courses, some of which deal with the geodetic aspects of GPS/GNSS, at both public venue and corporate facilities.14 Most of these courses are based on proprietary systems, although training based on open-source software and tools is beginning to emerge (e.g., open-source GIS boot camp offered by Geospatial Training Services LLC).15


The third task of the committee was to describe training programs for geospatial intelligence disciplines and analytical skills. Training programs relevant to geospatial intelligence abound in universities, government agencies, professional societies, and industry. Universities provide the widest variety of training programs, ranging from comprehensive degree programs that cater to individuals preparing for a career in geospatial science or technology to specialized programs and certificates aimed at expanding or updating the knowledge and skills of professionals. Although a few universities offer degrees in interdisciplinary fields, such as those related to the emerging areas, such programs remain difficult to create and sustain. Training offered by government agencies, professional societies, and private companies focuses on education and professional development of individuals already in the workforce and generally takes the form of workshops, short courses, or classes on particular tools or techniques. Distance learning is increasingly an option for all types of training.

The training programs chosen to address Task 3 have a long record of accomplishment, a critical mass of high-caliber instructors, a substantial number of students, and/or provide an opportunity to solve problems in a real-world context. The example programs and their relevance to NGA are as follows:

• A typical undergraduate curriculum, which provides a foundation of geospatial knowledge and skills (e.g., University of Colorado’s Department of Geography).

• Master’s of science programs, which emphasize solutions to real-world problems (e.g., George Mason University’s master’s program in geographic and cartographic sciences).

• Professional science master’s program aimed at producing graduates with a mix of scientific expertise and practical workforce skills (e.g., North Carolina State University’s professional science master’s program in geospatial information science and technology).

• Degrees or classes in geospatial topics in the context of intelligence or national defense (e.g., military colleges).

• Interdisciplinary programs, which are useful for dealing with complex geospatial intelligence issues (e.g., Carnegie Mellon University’s Computational and Organization Science program; University of Southern California’s Joint Games Program).


11 See <>.

12 See <>.

13 See <>.

14 See <>.

15 See <>.

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