ICC Programming

Analysis for Thematic Mapping

7114.2 - Geovisualization for Geospatial Intelligence Analysis

Friday, July 7
8:50 AM - 9:10 AM
Location: Balcony A

With the growing amount of geospatial data sources, data analysis has become a challenge for an efficient use of those data. Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) is particularly concerned since it brings together various datasets (HUMINT, MASINT, SIGINT, OSINT, maps, vector data, spatial or aerial imagery, DEMs, etc.) in order to produce knowledge and above all, intelligence. Our investigations focused on geovisualization as a data analysis tool for Geospatial Intelligence needs.
Geovisualization is particularly relevant for GEOINT analysis, using the spatial dimension to explore in depth datasets. In our study we have conceptualized the creation process of Geospatial Intelligence and showed how geovisualization plays a key role at the different stages.
After analyzing the state of the art of 2D and 3D geovisualization, we studied how to optimize the interaction between the user and the data representation in a GEOINT approach. This optimization leads to a better and faster understanding which is essential for the GEOINT analyst who needs to focus on his expertise on situational awareness. We studied several leverages of efficiency: the representation through the semiology of graphics, the role of interactivity from visualization to knowledge construction, the level of abstraction for representation and the cognitive matters involved. All these issues have been addressed to 2D and 3D representations. The purpose is to show how GEOINT analysis can leverage of the latest developments in 2D and 3D geovisualization in an approach driven by the use instead of the technology. The results show the need for a combination of different geovisualization types for a better efficiency and adaptability to different GEOINT applications. If a certain level of abstraction is expected for analysis, realism is needed for immersion. A combination of different levels of abstraction on a same representation is interesting for the analyst. We focused on covisualization of various data types, knowing that it is a common situation in GEOINT applications; the state of the art shows a need to go beyond the current solutions. 2D and 3D representations have been compared to evaluate their relevance and suitability on situational awareness in terms of analysis, immersion, orientation and memorization.
In the current context of technological developments in the intelligence community, it is crucial to assess the implications of embracing these evolutions in order to maximize the benefits. The multidisciplinary approach of geovisualization and the users’ involvement are keys for further improvements.

Vincent Caillard

Project Manager
French National Mapping Agency

Vincent Caillard is an engineer geographer working at the French National Mapping Agency (IGN) since 2004. He first worked on GIS, then on location based products (mobile apps and devices). Then he joined the Defence and Space Programs Department to bring expertise on geographical data and products to the French DoD. He is now working in Toulouse in the IGN Space Center Division to manage a global production of geospatial information (spatial imagery, DEM, ...). He is interested in Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) and its development in France. He presented his work about geovisualization and GEOINT at the "Société de Géographie de Paris" during a French GEOINT conference.


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Peter Schmitz

Principal Researcher
CSIR Built Environment

Dr Peter Schmitz holds a PhD in Geography and a BSc (Hons) degree in Geoinformatics and works ate the CSIR in South Africa. He is active in geospatial analysis and forensic geography. He is also active in logistics specialising in supply chains for the military and spatial data as well as in forensic geoscience. He has been part of the CSIR team that did the election-night forecasting at national and local municipal elections since 1999.He is currently the commission chair of the ICA Commission on Map Production and Geoinformation Management.


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7114.2 - Geovisualization for Geospatial Intelligence Analysis

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