DigitalGlobe Accelerates Disaster Analysis Processes with New GEOINT Services
[Satellite News 10-17-11] DigitalGlobe has launched two new geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) services, DigitalGlobe FirstWatch and its Diplomatic Facilities Support Package with partner CACI International, the high-resolution Earth imagery solutions provider announced Oct 17.
DigitalGlobe FirstWatch is an analysis and reporting service, which the company said was designed to help its users quickly assess and formulate response strategies following natural and man-made disasters.
The solution works together with DigitalGlobe’s FirstLook service, which is activated when a crisis event occurs and begins collecting new imagery from the affected region. DigitalGlobe personnel then begin analyzing the images in order to publish a comprehensive DigitalGlobe FirstWatch report within hours after the event occurs.
DigitalGlobe Defense and Intelligence Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeff Kerridge told Satellite News that the FirstWatch reports can identify evidence of structural damage, infrastructure failures, changes to topography, flood water depth and other life-threatening elements on the ground.
“Now, more than ever, on-demand access and real-time sharing of geospatial intelligence can make the difference between life and death in crisis situations,” said Kerridge. “With these new services, our goal is to put the power of GEOINT in the hands of more first responders, wherever and whenever they need it, helping them achieve their missions and save more lives. DigitalGlobe FirstWatch frees customers to concentrate on addressing the next set of critical questions sooner.”
The company said that it has produced reports for more than 50 events worldwide to date, including the earthquake and subsequent crisis events in Japan, and the impact of Hurricane Irene and Midwest flooding in the United States.
In addition to FirstWatch, DigitalGlobe also jointly unveiled the new Diplomatic Facilities Support Package with its partner CACI. The package aims to help governments more quickly and effectively respond to threats to diplomatic facilities and citizens abroad, combining DigitalGlobe’s sub-meter resolution imagery with CACI’s geospatial feature content to provide users with a current view of geographical landscapes, structures, routes and roadways, and critical resources.
In a statement, CACI Executive Vice President Jake Jacoby said the package also provides virtual whiteboards and annotation tools, to allow additional data to be layered on top of existing content and customized information.
“The user can then share their whiteboards securely with other users of the service,” said Jacoby. “Because it is based on open industry standards, it gives users the flexibility to access the full functionality though a wide range of devices and computing platforms, including any current web browser running on desktop, laptop or most handheld devices. It combines imagery, rich geospatial information and real-time collaboration tools, and puts them at the disposal of those charged with mission execution.”
Like FirstWatch, the Diplomatic Facilities Support Package solution also features integration with DigitalGlobe’s FirstLook service. When viewing an area of interest in the Diplomatic Facilities Support Package interface, users are alerted with on-screen icons when imagery becomes available for the region, which according to DigitalGlobe Vice President Jack Hild, instantly replaces the need for older, basecamp imagery.
“No matter where users are on the planet, all they need is a browser and Internet access to gain access to the complete functionality of the package,” said Hild. “The imagery, feature information and shared whiteboard annotations are updated dynamically through the cloud. The ability to access and annotate recent imagery allows organizations to identify high-risk areas, plan staging bases and safe-haven operations, manage key resources and collaborate with partners like never before.”