With the development of new geospatial capabilities and the advancement of technologies, solution trends begin to appear. For example, one emerging trend observed by many in the community is the need for warfighters and first responders to have synthetic training environments that carefully model out the physical operating world in which they’re working. Therefore, we see closer collaboration between 3D modeling of geospatial data and geospatial data collection relevant to operational requirements.
The geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) discipline is broad and ever-evolving. And the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), through its working groups, provides opportunities for the entire GEOINT community to participate in dialogues with other professionals throughout the country to make a difference and further the GEOINT tradecraft.
The Modeling, Simulation & Gaming (MS&G) working group educates and informs the global GEOINT community on the latest trends and practices through discussions on how modeling, simulation, and gaming technology can be made more interoperable with GEOINT. The group seeks to collaborate with industry, academia, and government to highlight advanced research concepts and commercial technology developments supporting geospatial modeling, simulation and gaming systems capable of delivering authoritative and relevant GEOINT at the point of need.
“This group really stemmed out of an organic effort to bring together the government, industry, and academic sectors to address this domain subject of modeling, simulation, and gaming,” said Stuart Blundell, GEOINT business development manager, Presagis, and co-chair of the MS&G working group. “For example, we worked with the Open Geospatial Consortium [OGC] and their Interoperability, Simulation & Gaming [IS&G] working group to highlight advancements and support geospatial modeling, simulation, and gaming systems.”
The MS&G working group actively promotes the education and community awareness of its members by developing research, promoting community events, and presenting high-quality technical speakers at each monthly meeting.
In collaboration with OGC, the MS&G working group recently published a technical paper titled: Advancing the Interoperability of Geospatial-Intelligence Tradecraft with 3D Modeling, Simulation, and Game Engines.
“This paper encapsulates many of the technology trends that our group has captured across industry, government, and academia,” Blundell said.
In addition to this technical paper, the MS&G working group hosted the first virtual GEOINT community forum of 2021 on March 9-10, titled, “The Geospatial Metaverse: Infrastructure, Tradecraft, and Applications,” in collaboration with USGIF and OGC. The event offered insights into advances in geospatial infrastructure, tradecraft evolution, and game engine and immersive applications.
“The event was fantastic. It focused on the emerging tradecraft convergence between GEOINT and the traditional modeling simulation community,” Blundell said.
The MS&G working group also actively promotes community education through its technical speaker series, born from a desire to have some marquee names to attract people to the working group meetings.
“We were a brand-new working group in April 2020, and of course, with the pandemic and everything else going on, we wanted to have something on the agenda that would draw people in,” Blundell said.
Since its inception, there has been an impressive array of speakers such as Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., professor of Spatial Sciences, Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California; David Graham, chair, OGC IS&G working group; and Chris Andrew, group product manager, Esri.
“There is value in the ability to bring in experts that have different deep domain experience in this broad topic area of modeling, simulation, and gaming. It’s an expansive area with lots of frequent new technology developments and integration points. We’re feeding that natural hunger for information from our community, and we’re fortunate to have had some very gracious professionals offer their time and support. We’re really excited about where this is going to go in 2021,” Blundell said.