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Charles River Analytics Collaborating on Human Geography for Geospatial Intelligence in NGA’s TOPS CRADA

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, announces its collaboration with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and BAE Systems, as part of Charles River’s ongoing efforts to support the intelligence community. The NGA and BAE created the Transforming Operations and Production to Services (TOPS) Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) in 2008. The NGA describes TOPS CRADA as examining ways to “transform National System for Geospatial Intelligence workflows and business processes into a ‘services’ environment to provide timely, integrated, efficient, and cost effective data and services to NGA customers.” As part of this CRADA, Charles River Analytics is supporting the Human Geography Services (HGS) initiative. This initiative focuses on providing services across the Nation System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) to support deep contextual understanding for human geography, which helps analysts acquire an integrated perspective of the environment.

The TOPS team selected to address the challenges of building out human geography services focuses on the following three challenges: unstructured data, spatially and temporally enabling data, and understanding the correlation between human geography themes and data relationships.

Mr. Sam Mahoney, Group Director in the Cognitive Systems division at Charles River, said, “We are conducting a cognitive task analysis (CTA) with NGA analysts to identify which tools from our portfolio of technologies – including novel geospatial visualizations, meta-data processing, and sociocultural modeling and simulation – would provide the most benefit to the geospatial analysis community. This analysis will help ensure our contributions to the CRADA directly benefit analyst workflow.” Mr. Mahoney added, “We have also been collaborating for the past several months with industry partners on the design of the HGS architecture, based on CTA.”

In January and March 2012, Charles River Analytics participated in reviews of the TOPS CRADA HGS with both NGA and industry. At this review, industry partners demonstrated their technology capabilities and fielded questions from NGA analysts and managers on how these tools would support the analysis of human geography. In October 2011, Charles River participated in the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (GEOINT) Symposium, which brings together experts from defense, intelligence, and homeland security to share ideas and best practices. This effort to focus on Human Geography dimensions of GEOINT reflects the growing need to understand the dynamics of cultures and people as key elements in geospatial situation awareness.

“Since we regularly and successfully apply our expertise in the social and behavioral sciences to develop and transition practical intelligent systems, human geography is a highly relevant and strategic focus for us,” commented Dr. Jonathan Pfautz, Charles River’s VP of Cognitive Systems Division.

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