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Geospatial technologies and (future) intelligence

Two seemingly unrelated news today from my ‘geospatial’ Google feed:

1. China is getting serious about the use of geospatial technology:

China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping has just been recently renamed as the State Bureau of Geographical Information, Surveying and Mapping, a move which according to Vice Premier Li Keqiang is one of the government’s efforts to support the development of the geographical information sector for the development of the country.

2. News of an “obscure” U.S. intel agency that played an “important” role in the bin Laden raid:

In the alphabet soup of obscure government agencies, the NGA probably ranks high on the obscurity chart for most Americans. But, as the National Journal explains today, the NGA — National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — played a central role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The NGA cannot be that obscure given that it has a fancy schmancy website! I can’t help but wonder how much of the Chinese GIS capacity beefing up is driven by potential of the technology for intelligence use.

Addendum: On the NGA see also this article in the Atlantic.

Posted in Geospatial technologies.