GeoResilience Summit to study the importance of knowing where you are

single-meta-cal April 1, 2024

The concept of geospatial technology can seem complicated but, once you think about it, there is a simplistic aspect to it. If there is power in knowledge, that includes knowledge of where you are and the insights that can be drawn from that.

That will be the overarching discussion during the “Why Where Matters” GeoResilience Summit on April 3 at the Jackson Center. It’s another piece of the intelligence fabric that makes Huntsville, as Mayor Tommy Battle likes to say, “A Smart Place.”

With the ever-growing technology of the 21st century, consider what can be learned by knowing your surroundings and how that can scale to matters of public safety. You probably don’t need a map to find your favorite restaurant or grocery store. But geospatial intelligence can expand our local map-free knowledge to, essentially, the world.

Imagine the benefits of understanding everything about a location in an emergency, a pandemic, or even where you might be. From the opposite perspective, imagine the difficulties that may be encountered in an unexpected situation in an unfamiliar place. It’s maximizing the knowledge and minimizing the unknowns that are part of what will be addressed at the summit, taking the dazzling technology of today and using it for the improvement of everyday life in perhaps surprising ways.

The conference will also help unravel some of the unknowns of geospatial intelligence and it includes a job fair to help meet a growing demand for high-tech jobs.

Shelisa Gardner, a member of the GeoHuntsville board and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency outreach committee, provides insight into the summit by addressing some frequently asked questions.

What does the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) do?

NGA provides geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). GEOINT is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on Earth.

How is geospatial intelligence conducted?

NGA studies pictures of the Earth using knowledge of science and geography to assist heroes like first responders, service members and even the president to make important decisions while helping people in need.

How is the Geographic Information System (GIS) Used in Public Health?

Geographic information system serves as the common denominator for any public health preparedness solution because location data is essential to every phase of planning, response, and recovery. GIS scales to events ranging from inclement weather conditions to pandemics.  Come listen to experts on How GEOINT Can Map Changes in Human Health who worked on COVID-19, the Bird Flu Outbreak, and the Ebola crisis.

What services does geospatial provide during natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, etc.?

Federal agencies such as NGA have provided evacuation route maps and produced damaged assessments of affected and destroyed properties which provide first responders and residents impacted with immediate information that is needed. Additionally, they will deploy personnel on the ground to assist with domestic recovery. Panel three members will discuss how geospatial information was used across local and federal agencies in the wake of natural disasters.

What is Space Resilience?

Panelists will discuss what is space resilience from their prospective agency point of view. They will discuss current and future initiatives facing the space enterprise.

Are geospatial intelligence careers in demand?

Careers in geospatial intelligence are in demand more than ever. Popular careers include imagery analysts, geospatial analysts, geoscientists, geodetic scientists, engineers, mathematics, and more. Stop by the NGA Career Booth to see the intern and full-time positions available.

NGA Deputy Director Tonya Wilkerson will deliver the keynote address and the summit will include leaders from NASA, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Space Command, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and more. Mayor Battle will give the closing keynote address.

View the full schedule and entrance information here.