Bringing together more than 3,500 attendees and 265 exhibiting organizations, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) hosted its GEOINT 2016 Symposium for the global GEOINT Community to discuss opportunities and solve challenges.
GEOINT 2016, held May 15-18, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., was the 12th annual Symposium and this year’s theme was “The GEOINT Revolution.” The Symposium focused on how adjacent markets and emerging technologies are influencing the GEOINT Community while at the same time geospatial intelligence is playing an increasing role in everything from the Internet of Things and augmented reality to mobile technology and data analytics.
This year’s scope of attendees and exhibitors reflected the GEOINT Revolution theme and included a wide range of industry—from satellite companies to data analytics specialists, sensor manufacturers to platform developers, and consulting services to hardware providers. Among the attendees were nearly 600 government personnel, including more than 200 intelligence officers from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as well as members from each branch of the U.S. military, and employees from the U.S. State Department, Congress, the National Institutes of Health, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and more. There was also strong international participation from 19 countries.
“There was palpable energy at this year’s Symposium,” said USGIF CEO Keith J. Masback. “The discussions and level of engagement were on par with or exceeded any event in the Foundation’s history. There was genuine excitement surrounding the tremendous opportunity afforded to our Community by the advent of the GEOINT Revolution.”
The GEOINT 2016 general session included keynote addresses by leaders and experts such as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre, NGA Director Robert Cardillo, NRO Director Betty Sapp, author Parag Khanna, and more. The main stage also featured panel discussions on the remote sensing revolution and processing, exploitation, and dissemination from the joint services perspective.
GEOINT 2016 training, education, and professional development offerings received considerable interest throughout the four-day event. USGIF offered 60 hours of training and education sessions, which included continuing education units accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training, courtesy of Riverside Research. 765 individuals, some who participated in multiple classes, attended the 30 training sessions. More than 500 attendees participated in GEOINT Foreword, the pre-symposium science and technology session that featured presentations from DARPA, IARPA, NGA Research, and four U.S. national laboratories in addition to a dozen industry lightning talks.
At this year’s Symposium, USGIF officially launched its Universal GEOINT Certification Program—available to U.S. and international GEOINT practitioners across industry, military, academia, and government—and recognized the first individuals to achieve its designations. USGIF and NGA leadership also announced the intent to cross-recognize the functional equivalence of their respective professional certification programs.
In addition to other events, USGIF is already planning GEOINT 2017, which will be held June 4-7, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community with government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who develop and apply geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges. USGIF executes its mission by building the community, advancing the tradecraft, and accelerating innovation. The GEOINT Symposium is hosted annually by USGIF.