Redmond, Washington – (The Hosting News) – May 12, 2006 – Microsoft Corp., along with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), have joined forces to advance the design and delivery of geospatial information applications to customers.
The NGA will use the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform to provide geospatial support for humanitarian, peacekeeping and national-security efforts. The Virtual Earth platform is an integrated set of online mapping and search services that deliver imagery through easy-to-program APIs.
Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., Director of the NGA commented, ”NGA is collaborating with Microsoft to accelerate the introduction of commercial virtual solutions into the GEOINT arena. This relationship will enable NGA to cooperate in the development of Microsoft’s mapping software and to explore commercial software solutions.”
Craig Mundie, Chief Technical Officer of Advanced Strategies and Policy at Microsoft added, ”Microsoft is honored to work with the world’s foremost mapping organization – we have much to learn from them. We believe the combination of our experience delivering web services with NGA’s unparalleled knowledge of the geospatial domain will significantly advance the creation of a truly virtual Earth.”
While Microsoft has been developing the Virtual Earth platform, NGA has been prototyping its own geodetically based and geospatially attributed knowledge base. By continuing to explore visualization concepts and develop user-requested imagery-related services, NGA and Microsoft will collaborate to provide enhanced geospatial services to their respective customers.
Currently, the two organizations believe they will both benefit from collaboratively implementing the latest technology and software applications and identifying best practices for the Virtual Earth and NGA global knowledge base.
The NGA recently used the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform to develop a mapping site for relief efforts surrounding Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region. Using the Virtual Earth platform, the NGA was able to disseminate satellite imagery belonging to commercial imagery vendors, enabling first responders and agencies to view the affected areas.
Virtual Earth application programming interfaces (APIs) enable many technologies to run seamlessly together, providing powerful horizontal integration to the platform. The NGA will continue to collaborate with industry to create additional crisis response sites in preparation for future disasters around the world.
NGA is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the National Intelligence Community whose mission is to provide timely, relevant and accurate GEOINT in support of our national security. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NGA has major facilities in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and St. Louis, Mo. Areas, with NGA support teams deployed worldwide.
To learn more, please visit: www.nga.mil/portal/site/nga01/.