Information is the common currency of successful economic, healthcare and national security policies. One type of information that could have a decisive impact on a nation’s well-being is geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), the exploitation of Earth imagery and other geospatial information. Think of Google Maps. While governments build and deploy specialized GEOINT sensors, the trend is to acquire the majority of GEOINT information from commercial providers at lower prices. There is a race to develop the commercial sensors and analytic systems to acquire GEOINT, but the U.S. is in danger of falling behind other nations in the creation of a robust domestic GEOINT industrial base. Failure to do so would both harm the U.S. economy and leave the government—and the military in particular—in a dangerous place. I have written on this subject here.
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