GIS at the heart of National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC)

by Glenn Letham

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The NCTC has been designed structurally to withstand tremendous force and the focus of the center is to support counter terrorist activities and help stakeholders share data.

As the cameras panned around the facility during today's special sneak-peek at the facility, viewers saw special meeting rooms, analysts sitting in front of multiple screens of information, and perhaps most notably, video screens and monitors showing maps, satellite imagery, and other spatial data products. It quickly became apparent to me that at the heart of the center's UI was GIS. This was no surprise to me (or many other viewers I'm sure), however, it's great for us in the industry to once again see that geospatial technologies are being recognized as a crucial tool, particularly in securing our nation. Interesting to note, intelligence operatives from not only the US but from allied nations will also cooperate and share information at with the NCTC.

This description comes from President Bush after a recent tour of the facility... "The NCTC plays a key part in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It's a crucial part of making sure that we can say to the American people, we're collecting intelligence and information and we're sharing intelligence and information across jurisdictional lines to better protect the people and do our most solemn duty, which is to protect America."