NIMA maps out its homeland role

Sunday's Super Bowl marked 'an incredible ratcheting up of the services we can provide,' for domestic defense, Jack Hill of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency said today.

NIMA for the first time provided support to domestic security agencies during preparations for the game in San Diego.

Speaking at NIMA's Industry Day at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, Hill noted that NIMA has new domestic customers.

In addition to its traditional Defense and intelligence users, the agency serves the new Homeland Security Department, the FBI, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Defense Department's Northern Command, formed last October at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

NIMA is fusing geographic, infrastructure and image data for 133 major cities, said Hill, deputy director of NIMA's Office of the Americas.

But the current 30-meter data resolution is not good enough to move NIMA's data from a planning role to direct operational support, Hill said; 1-meter resolution is needed.

The agency has sent support teams to DHS, NORTHCOM and FEMA. 'It's essential that they have the same data for a common operational picture,' Hill said.

The organizations will use the data for video fly-throughs, walk-throughs and perspectives of emergency and natural disaster scenes.

NORTHCOM also uses data feeds from the Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to track aircraft and hurricanes across the United States, said Bob Wimer, deputy chief of the NORTHCOM support team. NIMA is training NORTHCOM personnel to use ArcView mapping software from ESRI of Redlands, Calif., and other geospatial tools.


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