Last week I attended an event with the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation intended to showcase various cloud-based technologies for the GEOINT (geospatial intelligence) market, with speakers from HumanGeo, Agilex, DigitalGlobe, and more. The objective was to give quick lightning talks on cloud-based platforms enabling GEOINT capabilities, as part of the USGIF’s Innovation Task Force series.
The GEOINT community is rife with its share of buzzwords and an overwhelming amount of talk about technology (quite often with a lot of handwaving and vaporware), so it was great to be able to join with others in presenting some actual tools that can be used today that are enabled by the proliferation of cloud computing and data management technology these days.
Abe Usher, CTO of HumanGeo kicks off the talks
I took the opportunity to talk briefly about how some of our users are deploying Fulcrum in places around the world for a variety of field data applications. Rather than give a deep overview of the plethora of features available on the Fulcrum platform, I thought it better to jump right into how our technology is being used on a number of active projects in the Oil, Gas and Energy Industries, Natural Resources, and Water Monitoring sectors, and what powerful field tools are bringing to our customers in terms of cost savings and geospatial context for improved decision making.
While much of what I showed was primarily commercial in nature, government organizations could learn a lot about how to optimize data management workflow by taking a page from the book on how industry gets their work done. With limitations on resources in personnel, financial backing, and scalability, many companies using Fulcrum for fieldwork appreciate the rapid return on investment seen from deploying mobile apps for data capture, and see improvements and gains nearly overnight. The quick turnaround Fulcrum enables tightens the feedback loop on connecting mobile staff back to the office. The availability of Amazon AWS as a cloud resource allows our development team to focus on building our software tools, and makes it easier to deal with servers, replication, hosting, storage, and distribution.
Several others were in attendance, with a diverse set of technologies to talk about. DigitalGlobe showcased some of the latest work they’re doing with spatial analytics on top of imagery from their recently-launched WorldView-3 commercial satellite platform. Agilex highlighted what they’re doing to implement agile software development and deployment methods on top of the Amazon GovCloud platform, helping organizations make better use of the cloud to actually get their tools deployed and managed on cloud infrastructure. HumanGeo talked about tools they’re building to harness cloud services for social media mining, text analysis, and spatial data visualization.
It’s great to get a chance to show how cloud technology is being used in the real world, and we enjoyed the opportunity to get to showcase some of the awesome work our users are doing in data collection.