The 2011 GEOINT Symposium – Perspectives from the Show Floor

Jeff Kerridge, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Defense and Intelligence at DigitalGlobe and a veteran attendee of this conference gives his impression of the show’s first day.

It’s been a great show so far. The lineup of speakers yesterday morning was a “who’s who” in the intelligence community. We heard from the Honorable Joan Dempsey (former senior official with the CIA who served as emcee) — she introduced General Clapper (DNI), Bruce Carlson (Director NRO), and Tish Long (Director NGA). Lots of questions about the role of commercial imagery and each speaker expressed their support.

Director Long did a live iPad demo onstage showcasing the work NGA does to support FEMA during crisis situations like Hurricane Irene – essentially replacing the old style paper maps and crisis handbooks while enabling rapid updates and more widespread communication. Her pillars of effective support included the following:

  • Content
  • IT Infrastucture
  • Customer Service
  • In-Depth Analysis

Coincidentally these are the things that DigitalGlobe happens to be really good at.

Later in the afternoon, Director Long came by our booth #337 for a tour. We showed her imagery that was collected just hours earlier during our digital downlink demo with the Army Geospatial Center, MDA, and ViaSat. We collected beautiful, high-resolution imagery of Mexico and Texas at 1:05 p.m. and had it in our booth by 1:30 p.m. The photo below is the 2.4 meter dish supplied by ViaSat for the downlink of WorldView-2 that helped make it all happen just hours before.

In the evening, there were lots of great networking opportunities, including one that DigitalGlobe hosted where I got to speak with reporters covering the event. USGIF has outdone themselves again. Keith Masbach, president of USGIF, came by the restaurant last night and hung out with the DigitalGlobe team for a while. After dinner, we were all invited to Keith’s suite for further discussion. Not a bad way to end the night.