Two significant challenges face the GEOINT community today; 1) give geospatial context to regional or global activities that allow an analyst to better evaluate a Key Intelligence Question, and 2) maintain global foundation data that meets the needs of end users.
The Internet and social media can be scraped for activities of interest, but making that data usable in a geospatial context is a challenge. Global foundation data is traditionally built and updated from satellite imagery based on rigorous processes and specifications. The level of effort is high and the speed to the customer often falls short of the need. Continental Mapping is using open source data and proprietary work flows and tools to bring these together to bring new value to GEOINT.
A plethora of information or “events” can be found by scraping the internet and social media. For example, a tweet mentioning construction equipment in the downtown area of a city. The presence of construction equipment becomes an event which requires monitoring. However, by their nature, this type of information does not have tight geographic locations identified. Through proprietary workflows and tools, we give geographic context and entity descriptions to those events and then refine them to more specific levels of GEOINT. These Activity-Based intelligence (ABI) processes allow us to build geospatially-enabled event alerts that then support deeper analysis.
Once refined to a more specific geospatial context, this data can serve as a “tipping and queuing” source for changes to foundation. Another example is a press release on construction occurring in the downtown of a city. The scraping of that unstructured press release initiates the creation of a construction mapping feature event with attribution such as a new bridge is coming. Through our workflows and tools, that event evolves into more detailed geographic entity that can be viewed by an analyst against open source data. Eventually, the event is further refined until it drives the update of foundation data such as creating a new bridge in with attribution of construction equipment and width. Mapping outputs exist through the various stages.