NIMA wants to morph into NGA

Given its new strategy to integrate imaging and mapping efforts, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency needs a name that better reflects its work, the agency's director says.

The agency's chief, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., has proposed that NIMA become the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, or NGA, which 'more accurately captures our mission and what we do.'

NIMA has taken on an expanded intelligence mission to link imagery and maps into a 'ubiquitous knowledge map,' Clapper said. Defense Department and intelligence users could 'draw from the sum' of all geospatial intelligence data, he said.

NIMA emerged in 1996 from the combination of the Defense Mapping Agency with several other DOD and intelligence offices. It has always collected images and maps as separate functions, whereas NGA would unify them, Clapper said.

The proposed name change must be approved by President Bush and Congress.

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