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National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Agency Info

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders.

Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.

NGA enables all of these critical actions and shapes decisions that impact our world through the indispensable discipline of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT).

NGA is a unique combination of intelligence agency and combat support agency. It is the world leader in timely, relevant, accurate and actionable GEOINT. NGA enables the U.S. intelligence community and the Department of Defense (DOD) to fulfill the president’s national security priorities to protect the nation. NGA also anticipates its partners’ future needs and advances the GEOINT discipline to meet them.

NGA is the lead federal agency for GEOINT and manages a global consortium of more than 400 commercial and government relationships. The director of NGA serves as the functional manager for GEOINT, the head of the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) and the coordinator of the global Allied System for Geospatial Intelligence (ASG). In its multiple roles, NGA receives guidance and oversight from DOD, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Congress.

NGA is headquartered in Springfield, Va. and has two major locations in St. Louis and Arnold, Mo. Hundreds of NGA employees serve on support teams at U.S. military, diplomatic and allied locations around the world.

News / Updates

The first challenge posted to comes from NGA’s GEOINT Pathfinder project.  NGA’s GEOINT Pathfinder project is a way for NGA to right-size the complex challenge of steering more into the unclassified world. GEOINT Pathfinder uses only unclassified tools, data, IT, and services in the commercial and open world to answer research questions while documenting the lessons learned along the way to help change the GEOINT enterprise.

See links for background on Pathfinder:

NGA taps crowd for better tools

Why Open Data is the Future for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

NGA leverages Unclassified Source in Pathfinder Program 


More Information

NGA’s historical roots lie mostly in the classified world of government satellites. While government systems will always have their place, GEOINT is commercializing and commoditizing rapidly. The pending small satellite launch schedule, social media-based ground photography, highly effective volunteer mapping communities, and vast open and commercial data stores are fundamentally changing NGA’s value proposition.  This means that much more of NGA’s value proposition in the future will come from deriving value from unclassified, open, and commercial GEOINT.  In order to derive more value from unclassified and commercial data and platforms, NGA will need to have a more open dialog about GEOINT’s future.  This is part of Director Cardillo’s “Succeed in the Open” strategy.

We must reject outdated mindsets about the pursuit and value of open source data. We must overcome our historic reluctance to let analysts engage externally. We must embrace the imperative to release appropriate information on our unclassified network. We must do all of this — we must do it smartly. And we will.”  Source – GEOINT Symposium 2016

NGA needs high-quality software just like every other knowledge or research organization.  NGA is using the platform to help grow not only high-quality software but to help balance when to “succeed in the open” and when to be closed.

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Rapid Image Colorization

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Demonstrate an algorithm that can rapidly, accurately, and automatically colorize grey scale panchromatic images.

Closed OnSep 09, 2018

Disparate Data Challenge

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

NGA seeks to unearth innovative ways of retrieving and analyzing data in different locations, formats, schemas and interfaces.

Closed OnSep 19, 2016

Living Stories Challenge

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Dynamic and easy-to-read version control for everyone

Closed OnJul 15, 2016