Discovering the Support Requirements for Geospatial Socio-cultural Intelligence Analysis and Synthesis

Voshell1, M., Roth2, E., Mahoney1, S., Nolet1, S., Farry1, M., and Prue1, B.

4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) / 2nd International Conference on Cross-Cultural Decision Making (CCDM), San Francisco, CA (July 2012).

While the benefits of collecting and understanding historical socio-cultural information have been widely accepted, existing software tools to support socio-cultural information collection, aggregation, and analysis often lack the ability to effectively aid intelligence analysts in identifying corroborating or conflicting information for hypothesis exploration. These include strategic hypotheses, such as longer term research addressing regional issues where responses are required on the order of weeks to months, as well as tactical hypotheses in support of “boots on the ground” actionable responses required on the order of hours to days. As part of an ongoing Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) of intelligence analysts conducting geospatial analysis of socio-cultural information, the current work describes our methodology, presents initial findings with respect to sources of complexity and support needs experienced in the domain, and discusses implications for the effective design of new tools and decision-support solutions that meet these needs.

1 Charles River Analytics
2 Roth Cognitive Engineering

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